Chris Matthews canceled his planned appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, as outrage stirs over leaked video footage that shows him joking about date raping Hillary Clinton.
As we reported this weekend, Matthews was caught on video in 2016 mocking Hillary Clinton and then joking about using a “Bill Cosby pill” on her, insinuating he would date rape her. The video showed Matthews preparing to interview Clinton (who was not in the room), and it does not appear he was aware the cameras were on and capturing his comments.
After the footage was released, Matthews apologized, but his appearance on “Meet the Press,” announced before the controversy broke, was canceled without comment.
The website The Cut obtained the footage, which shows Matthews about to interview Hillary Clinton while campaigning in Iowa in 2016. Before Clinton joins him at the Iowa firehouse where the interview takes place, Matthews refers to her as a “queen,” and then asks “where is my Bill Cosby pill?” as his staff looks on disgust.
The revelation comes weeks after it was revealed that MSNBC paid a former employee $40,000 after she accused Matthews of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. Matthews denied that any inappropriate behavior took place. Others reports say a number of staffers have complained about Matthews’ abusive behavior.
Chris Matthews was caught on hot mic audio mocking Hillary Clinton and then joking that he should have brought along date rape drugs for his interview with the former Secretary of State.
The Cut obtained the footage, which was taken on the set of his MSNBC show Hardball while he filmed from Iowa is January 2016 during the Democratic primary in that state between Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders.
‘Can I have some of the queen’s waters? Precious waters?’ asks Matthews at the top of the tape, putting on a posh accent as he is handed a bottle of water that had been set aisde for Clinton.
Then, as he waited for his water, Matthews joked: ‘Where’s that Bill Cosby pill I brought with me?’
The first camera angle shows Matthews laughing hysterically to himself after he delivers the joke, but when a second camera angle is shown that looks out at his staff, all four individuals in the frame are visibly disgusted by the comment.
‘This was a terrible comment I made in poor taste during the height of the Bill Cosby headlines,’ Matthews told the Cut after it obtained the video.
‘I realize that’s no excuse. I deeply regret it and I’m sorry.’
Cosby’s accusers, who at that point numbered over 60, were in the headlines as just seven days prior the actor was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault on Andrea Constand.
Those charges were filed by the Montgomery County District Attorney just two days before the statue of limitations ran out on the 12-year old case.
Many viewed the decision to charge Cosby as a watershed moment in prosecuting allegations of sexual assault, and for that reason few found much humor in the headlines.
As for Clinton, she has long been one of Matthew’s favorite targets.
Clinton is ‘witchy’ and a ‘sort of a Madame Defarge of the left’ and Matthews wonders if troops would take orders from her because she is a female.
She has a ‘cackle,’ a ‘scolding manner in terms of her public speaking,’ and some men believed her voice is like ‘fingernails on a blackboard’ said Matthews over the years.
He has also referred to her as a ‘she-devil’ and credited her political success to her husband Bill’s affairs by saying ‘the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That’s how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn’t win there on her merit.’
Here is the video.