MSNBC’s Chris Matthews has apologized after bizarrely comparing the use of executive privilege to losing one’s virginity during an interview with Sen. Kamala Harris following Attorney General Bill Barr’s testimony.
The network’s star made the 2020 Democratic candidate visibly uncomfortable by making the comparison during a Wednesday discussion about Barr saying White House counsel Don McGahn may not be able to testify if President Trump invokes executive privilege.
“I guess the question is once he’s testified before Mr. Mueller’s special counsel investigation, how can he now say I won't make the same testimony in public claiming executive privilege. I think it is sort of like virginity, kinda,” Matthews said.
“Once you start talking about a matter in your jurisdiction and then you say, ‘oh, I’m not doing it anymore.’ You can't do it once you’ve started talking. I understand that's how executive privilege works. Once you have given it up, you can't grab it back. How do you see it?”
Harris, looking rather awkward, replied: “I'm not going to go with you on that metaphor, Chris.”
Shortly after the exchange, Matthews had to come back to it to issue an on-air apology for the inappropriate comparison.
“I'm sorry about that metaphor I used before. I’ve been admonished already about it. So I really shouldn’t have used it in this context, however,” he said.
“I'm sorry about that metaphor I used before. I’ve been admonished already about it. So I really shouldn’t have used it in this context, however.”
Matthew’s show “Hardball” pounced following the attorney general’s testimony in front the Senate Judiciary Committee, criticizing Barr for undermining the Robert Mueller report.
He also suggested whether Barr is still “upholding his oath to the Constitution,” and floating the idea of impeachment of the attorney general and Trump.
The hearing came after the Washington Post reported Tuesday evening that Mueller contacted – in a letter and phone call – the attorney general to let him know that his summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the Russia investigation report.