MSNBC host Chris Matthews offered a qualified defense of Alexandria shooter James T. Hodgkinson on Wednesday, saying "We don't know what sadness was in this guy's life."
Hodgkinson shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) and four others while Republican congressmen practiced baseball Wednesday morning. Reports emerged of his activism on behalf of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and loathing for Republicans and President Donald Trump over the course of the day.
"Howard [Fineman], you and I know each other. You know what goes into somebody's—we can say wacky behavior because they're dead," Matthews said, diverting from a point on civility in politics from Rep. Bill Johnson (R., Ohio).
"We don't know what sadness was in this guy's life … what his prospects were. Something that made him mad at the world so he focused on Republicans," Matthews said. "He did understand inequality as an issue. Bernie Sanders wrote about that in the paper the other day."
"There's nothing wrong with the issue. It's a great issue to fight for if you're a progressive," Matthews said. "But he got it into his head that he was going to get better equality of incomes in this country by killing people. That's not going to happen."
Fineman did not directly respond to Matthews's train of thought.