Chris Matthews said during a discussion on potential military action in Syria Thursday that "all (the United States does) is kill Arabs on international television" and that "might have something to do with jihad."
The belief that American foreign policy decisions provoke the violent actions of extremists was often articulated by Osama bin Laden, and has been repeated by Boston Marathon bomber suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in early interviews with investigators.
Matthews' colleague Martin Bashir accepted and repeated the news reports of Tsarnaev's claims Wednesday.
Officials disclosed Thursday that the administration now believes Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against Syrians, according to intelligence assessments.
Late last year, MSNBC president Phil Griffin dubbed Matthews a "statesman" and the "model figure for who (MSNBC is)" in an interview with the Associated Press.
The full exchange:
MARTIN BASHIR: The truth is Assad has given absolutely zero indication of a willingness to go anywhere. This is a man who 70,000 of his own people have already been killed.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, what's your solution?
BASHIR: Thankfully, I'm not in a position to offer that. I think I'm in agreement with you.
MATTHEWS: As they say, throw it back to New York. To you. I think this is —
BASHIR: Thanks, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Unless you’re willing to take moral responsibility for the country, and what happens to it — we watched this gory hanging, this absurd hanging of Saddam Hussein while these thugs went about this thing on television. We watched it. On our watch. It happened because of us. We gave them the power to do that to the guy. Okay. You start making big-time moral decisions like that saying these are the good guys, these are the bad guys. I think it's very dangerous. I have to admit I'm a Vietnam era guy. I'm always suspicious of foreign involvement. Nine out of 10 times, I say the best move is to let them solve their own problems. In the end, as horrible as it may be, as long as Syrians are fighting Syrians, that's better than us fighting Syrians. And by the way, if we don't stop killing Arabs on international television one of these days–that’s all we do is kill Arabs on international television. We don't fight Africans, we don’t fight Europeans who do we fight? Islamic people on international television. I think that might have something to do with jihad. Just guessing.
BASHIR: It may well.