When I say I just witnessed one of the most brutal takedowns of a surrogate for Donald Trump that I’ve seen this entire election season, I’m not exaggerating. What Chris Matthews, Joe Reid and Katy Tur did to Rep. Jack Kingston (R-TX) during Hardball on Friday was remarkable.
Rep. Kingston triggered the verbal assault with his insistence that Hillary Clinton is the person who started the birther conspiracies against President Obama — a statement Matthews did not let him get away with.
After pushing a conspiracy that’s been debunked for a while now, the Hardball host then pressed Kingston to provide a source or proof to back up his belief that Clinton is the creator of the birther movement, at which point he claimed to have seen some memo where someone from her 2008 campaign said they should question Obama’s birthplace. It was at that point Matthews then asked him to provide proof of the memo, mockingly asking him why, if he’s in possession of such a damning piece of evidence against Clinton, he didn’t bring it with him. Obviously, Kingston knows damn well no such memo exists.
But that’s when Reid started in on him, literally fact-checking him on the spot, pulling up the investigation Politifact did that put an end to the preposterous belief that Clinton is the person who began the birther conspiracies. She then said that the reason why Trump won’t publicly say if he believes President Obama is an American citizen is because he knows his claim as being one of the most well-known birthers up until very recently is what made him so popular among Republicans who want to view this president as some illegitimate, anti-American radical focused on destroying this country.
“It is an article of faith among enough Republican-based voters and enough Trump supporters that I think Donald Trump doesn’t want to walk away from it,” she said. “It’s the reason he’s popular with them. It rocketed him to the top of the pile among 17 Republican candidates for president and it has created and built his cult of personality.”
Reid also said that this is all part of a deliberate plan to humiliate and demean our nation’s first African American president.
She’s absolutely right. While he’ll claim he just wants to “put it behind him,” Trump could just as easily say that he now believes President Obama was born here and that would end the issue once and for all — but he won’t. He knows that a good chunk of his supporters are people who don’t believe this president is an actual American.
That’s when Kingston insisted that the birther issue isn’t remotely an issue and it’s unfair for Reid to claim that millions of conservatives are racists.
After both Reid and Matthews blasted Kingston for continuing to insist that the birther conspiracy hasn’t been that big of an issue, Katy Tur, someone who’s been covering Trump’s campaign, then embarrassed the Texas representative even more by saying that the birther issue is a big topic among many who support him.
“Let me tell you what Donald Trump supporters tell me on the campaign trail often,” Tur said. “They often say they believe he was born in Kenya, they often say they believe he’s a Muslim. Some of them go on to say he’s an undercover operative, a Manchurian candidate. that being said, Donald Trump has not backed away from this. let me finish this, Mr. Kingston. Donald Trump has not backed away from this because he’s never backed away from any statement on this campaign trail so far.”
After Kingston continually tried to interrupt her, at one time even basically calling her a liar, Tur then went on to say that in every city all over the country, Trump supporters tell her that they believe President Obama’s a Muslim, that he hates this country and that he’s not an American.
I’ll admit, while I didn’t remotely feel sorry for Kingston, this was a little painful to watch at times as he got deservedly destroyed by these three.
If you have a few minutes I would highly suggest watching this segment. It’s definitely worth your time.
Check it out below via MSNBC: