MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Monday compared President Donald Trump's claim that he has been cleared in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election to Adolf Hitler deceiving the German people about the 1939 invasion of Poland.
"What is Trump saying to anybody who's listening—it clears me? Is he just talking to his 40 percent who believes anything he says?" Matthews asked.
"He feels like he can use his megaphone, his Twitter handle to communicate directly to his supporters to tell them what to believe, and they're banking on—he and his advisers are banking on those tens of millions of Americans out there to believe him," Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker said. "So when he says he's totally clear, they will think he's totally cleared."
"I guess it's like the Germans believed that the name who we never can quote or never mention said that Poland invaded Germany," Matthews added. "That's why World War II started. Poland invaded Germany, remember? He was able to get away with that baby."
Matthews and Rucker were discussing a tweet from Trump after several documents from Mueller's office were released last week.
Totally clears the President. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
The documents revealed that prosecutors are alleging that Trump directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to make payments to two women to keep them silent about supposed affairs with the president. The documents also list a number of lies told by Cohen and Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
Matthews is not the first MSNBC host to compare Trump to Hitler. After the president embraced the term "nationalist" at a rally in Texas in October, Nicolle Wallace asked whether Trump "does not care" or "does not know" about World War II and Naziism.
New York Times correspondent Peter Baker told Wallace that the crowd "booed the word ‘globalist,'" but "cheered the word ‘nationalist.'" In response, Wallace said, "I watch enough History Channel to know that they cheered at Hitler, too."