Chris Matthews: After Soleimani Strike, Trump Is 'an Assassin'

January 6, 2020

MSNBC Hardball anchor Chris Matthews on Monday called President Donald Trump "an assassin" after a discussion about the military strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

"I don't think you're an assassin," Matthews told his guest, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), "this president is."

Matthews, echoing a number of prominent Democrats, also accused the president of "trolling" to distract from impeachment by creating an "explosion of media focus" on a potential war with Iran.

"Do you think what he's trying to do is get the liberals all mad, to get the Iranians really upset, because he's trying to play wag the dog here?" Matthews said. "What he really wants to do is create an explosion of media focus, and even a war, a bite-sized war he thinks, to distract from his impeachment threat."

Klobuchar, a 2020 contender, responded that she hoped Matthews was wrong, but suggested that Trump "so often ... does things to distract."

Democratic lawmakers have speculated since Soleimani's death that Trump ordered the strike to distract from the impeachment process. The Washington Post reported Sunday that the decision was the result of a months-long process, spearheaded by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with the goal of more aggressive action against Iran.