Chris Matthews: ‘When Countries Give You Money, They Want Something’

MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews said that while he doesn’t believe the Clintons financial dealings are illegal, “there is familiarity to this that’s going to haunt them” and “you got to wonder, is that the terrain they want to work on?” Before declaring “when countries give you money, they want something besides love” on Saturday’s “Up with Steve Kornacki.”

Matthews said, “if you look at the whole train of history of the Clintons, there is a familiarity there. It’s almost like Billie Jean King, or some — a great tennis star knows, hit the chalk line. That’s how you win the game, hit the chalk line, don’t hit the middle. It’s like a pitcher, hit the corner. So, they work the corners, the work the chalk line. And if you do that, you occasionally go over, or you risk going over, and you certainly get the attention of the press. … They do work that. They have been desperate to raise money to keep up with the Republicans. You could argue that if you’re a Clintonite.”

He added, “there is familiarity to this that’s going to haunt them, but it’s not illegal. You’ll get Carville with that jambalaya voice of his saying, ‘it’s not illegal, this is not illegal, is it?’…But, if their best defense is it’s not illegal, then you got to wonder, is that the terrain they want to work on? And the answer is they feel they should.”

Matthews concluded by praising the Clintons for liking their donors, but also saying, “imagine you’re sitting at some finance ministry in Uganda or somewhere, ‘well, the Clintons have asked for $100,000. You know, we’re a poor country. Should we give it to them? You know, also the president’s out on a speaking tour, should we give him a speech, you think? What will we get out of that?’ They’ve got to be thinking of that. So, it’s social access, it’s sovereignty access. But when countries give you money, they want something besides love.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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