MSNBC host Chris Matthews apologized to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Wednesday evening after he compared waiving executive privilege to losing one’s virginity while interviewing Harris about whether former White House Counsel Don McGahn should be allowed to testify before Congress.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Wednesday asked Attorney General William Barr if he had any objections to McGahn testifying before Congress, and Barr replied: “We haven’t waived his 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,” 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’ve given it up, you can’t grab it back. How do you see it?”
Faces @KamalaHarris made today: first, to William Barr when he couldn’t answer if the White House had told him to investigate anyone, then to Chris Matthews when he compared exerting executive privilege to losing virginity: pic.twitter.com/Cxv6hxISQc
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) May 2, 2019
After uncomfortably grimacing, Harris replied: “Um, I’m not going to go with you on that metaphor, Chris.”
Later in the interview, Matthews apologized to Harris but insisted that he had heard the virginity metaphor used in the executive privilege context.
“I’m sorry about that metaphor I used before. I’ve been admonished already about it. So I really shouldn’t have,” Matthews said before adding, “I’ve heard that phrase used in this context, however.”