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Matthews to Conway on Trump Not Pursuing Hillary: This Was Voters ‘Motivating Emotion’

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” while discussing the news that President-elect Donald Trump will not pursue further investigations into former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, host Chris Matthews suggested to the senior adviser to Trump’s transition Kellyanne Conway that the “crooked Hillary” claim was “one of the real motivating emotions” for voters.

Partial transcript as follows:

MATTHEWS: Can you give us any ticktock on this? When during the night or when did Donald Trump come up with this decision to basically let Hillary Clinton off the hook in terms of further prosecution?

CONWAY: It’s a recent development. And those are his words. So we respect them. He repeated them today at “The New York Times,” on the record briefing. Chris, you talked a little bit about that. He actually went on for a couple of minutes about this issue, to “The New York Times.” I was sitting right next to him. He said that it was a vicious primary, vicious campaign, he thinks that she and the Clintons have suffered enough. And he just wants to unite the country and move forward, not backward. And then he ticked off a whole list of things that he does care about. He said he’s very focused, he’s most focused right now, on healthcare, on immigration, on national security, on the many problems he thinks exist throughout the world. This is somebody who’s getting regular intelligence briefings now, and so he is convinced, there are many — there are many issues that need his immediate attention, as our commander in chief and president of the United States.

MATTHEWS: So much of the voting the last — you and I talked off and on off the record, I won’t go into details, because there wasn’t too much to it, except asking each other questions. You know there are a lot of people in the suburbs, where I’m from, or near the suburbs, my parents and brothers, that made last-minute decisions toward Trump. They didn’t like either candidate especially, but they made a decision for Trump because they don’t like Hillary. They just really don’t like her. And they really, I think, like the idea that Trump was calling her crooked Hillary. They liked the idea that his people said, “lock her up.” And now one of the real motivating emotions, if you will, of the campaign near the end was better him than her. And now that’s gone by the wayside. And there’s no more belief on the part of him?

CONWAY: No, there’s not.

MATTHEWS: Is there a belief that she’s crooked Hillary or is that something that’s been dropped?

CONWAY: Look at the polling, NBC’s polling and other people’s polling, a majority of Americans still think she has a voracity problem and a casual relationship with the truth.

MATTHEWS: Yeah, does he think that?

CONWAY: No, this is important. This is part of why she lost. Look I’ll say it again, their unfavorability ratings were high for each of them, but for different reasons. And for her, you had a much higher intense number of people saying I just can’t go there. I just can’t abide the lying or the mistruths or the — or using the State Department as a concierge for foreign governments and the pay-to-play in the Clinton Foundation. Come on, there’s a whole bunch of things in what I call their scandalabra.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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