February 15, 2018
7:00 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Frozen in the headlights. Let’s play Hardball. [HARDBALL OPENING CREDITS] Good evening. I’m Chris Matthews in Washington, D.C., occupied territory of the American gun lobby. So, here we go again. Once again a mass shooting and, once again, a mass inaction by our politicians. And once again, someone’s taken a battlefield weapon — the AR-15 — into an American school and opened fire. And once again, we are told to shut up about it. We are asked not to — we’re not to do ask why this battlefield weapon designed for the single person of killing lots of humans quickly has once again been about put to its designed purpose of killing lots of humans fast. This is no time for politics those in the pocket of the National Rifle Association tell us. We are not to even mention stopping this open traffic this to teenagers in semi-automatic combat guns. Well, here tonight, like last night, we are going to talk about it. It’s been a little over 24 hours since Nikolas Cruz barged into his old high school in Parkland, Florida opening fire on hundreds of terrified students and teachers, ultimately murdering 17 and wounding 14 others. And since Sandy Hook by the way, where 20 children were murdered, there have been roughly 1600 mass shootings in this country. So far, there have been 18 school shootings in this new year alone and with all the grief and chaos, it’s been the voices of the NRA funded politicians. Let me say that again. The NRA-funded politicians rising above the din.
MATTHEWS: Let’s just follow the money. Marco Rubio received $3.3 million from the NRA. Notice how he commented today. Ted Cruz has received $77,000, Paul Ryan another $61,000. President Trump today addressed the country calling the suspect mentally disturbed but the President made zero mention of the battlefield weapon the suspect used in the mass shooting. The weapon he bought at the age of 19. Instead, he urged citizens to reach out to faith leaders in their community for help.
MATTHEWS: Representative Moskowitz, you’re down there. You’re down there. It’s your responsibility to deal with the repercussions down there. What do we do with people who go on television with $3 million behind them like your senator down there who say we shouldn’t talk politics because I’m getting $3 million from the NRA. Of course I don’t want to talk politics. I’m getting the money to fight people talking gun control.
MATTHEWS: I’m just wondering about the disproportion of concern that you hear in these hours since this tragedy and all the tradition since. There’s about one a week now, a school tragedy. Eric is right. It is partially focused just on schools, this mass shooting and I will say again, bringing these semi-automatic weapons to the schools, how do you keep them out of the door. This guy had a plan, smoke bombs, turn on the alarm, get people in the hallways and start mowing it people down. He had a plan. What’s the plan of those who are playing defense? My question — let me go to Kurt on that. What is the defensive plan? Anybody got one? What’s the NRA plan to protect our schools?
KURT BARDELLA: There is no plan. The plan is to be helpless. The plan is to continue to feed the people that have been giving you money and to turn a blind eye to tragedy. You know, I like how when it’s an illegal immigrant that commits a crime, we need new policy. We need to do something because our safety is at risk. When it involves a gun, well, need to take a step back, we need to wait and see and we need to get all the facts. Why is there a double standard on tragedy with Donald Trump and Republicans?
MATTHEWS: Well, the interesting thing, I’ll start with Kurt on this one, is that the absence of conversation is mandatory now. You must not talk about it. That’s to politicize it and then two weeks from now, we’re not talking about this. That’s when they’ll say, okay, you can talk about it but nobody wants to talk about it. You can’t talk any policy. I don’t want to hear from policymakers except about policy. I don’t really hear —
BARDELLA: That’s why they exist.
MATTHEWS: — the President about how to contact my faith leader. I don’t need Trump to tell me how to find my church. I know where it is. I go there on my own. I need him to lead this country in doing something about gun safety and he refuses to do anything.
MATTHEWS: I love Nicholas Kristof in The Times today. Lying is bad, you know? When you lie a lot, it’s really bad.
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(RT) — The investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in the US elections and the supposed use of social media by Moscow to sway public opinion is just a “witch hunt,” former US Congressman Ron Paul told RT.
“The people who promote this witch hunt do not care about what [the former US presidential candidate] Hillary [Clinton] was doing and they are very biased against the Trump campaign,” Paul said, adding that he believes that the “real problem” lies precisely in this bias.
He also said that the Washington lawmakers involved in Russia-bashing close their eyes to repeated meddling by the US in the internal affairs and electoral processes in many other countries.
“I would like our government to talk about our involvement in campaigns, most recently in Ukraine, [where] we participated in a coup,” the former senator said.
“So far, they have not shown me the ad that was pro-Trump and was paid for by the Russian government,” the politician said, referring to the fact that, after 10 months of investigating, the US authorities still failed to find any solid evidence of collusion with Moscow by Donald Trump or his campaign team.
The anti-Russian hysteria was stirred up in the US to draw people’s attention away from real problems, Paul said, adding that he is more concerned about a crisis in US relations with Russia as well as US actions in Syria.
He also denounced the anti-Russian campaign as “fearmongering.”
The politician said the “hundreds of thousands of dollars” that Russia allegedly spent on social media ads to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election are just “a small amount of money in comparison to the billions that are usually spent on the campaigns.”He added that control over the media eventually plays a more important role than money.
Trump infuriated US media outlets because he switched to Twitter, breaking their information monopoly in the process as well as the ability to portray anyone, who does not play into the hands of the establishment, as someone who has to be stopped, Paul said.
Turning to the accusations leveled against RT by some US officials, Paul said “CNN [also] has access to other countries and they do things similar to [what RT does], and they are involved in other countries [public life].”
“That is what happens when the empires feel that they are challenged,” the politician pointed out, adding that the authorities in the US are “very determined to control the information.”
Paul (R-Texas) served in the US House of Representatives for over 20 years, and ran three times for the GOP’s presidential nomination, most recently in 2012.
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/ron-paul-anti-russian-campaign-fearmongering/