In the ultimate on-air troll of Rudy Giuliani, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews crowned him the winner of the “Most Outrageous Diversion” award regarding the Russia investigation.
The cable host treated viewers to the mockery on his Christmas Eve “Hardball” broadcast, bringing on a panel of political junkies to weigh in on the nominees before he announced the final result.
Two of the three contenders were President Donald Trump himself.
Revisiting some of the year’s most remarkable moments, Matthews pointed to his public doubt of U.S. intelligence on Russian hacking involving the 2016 election, and his claim last November that he didn’t know acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker.
Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and outrageous diversion nominee No. 2, was under consideration for his infamous “Meet the Press” interview last August when he claimed “truth isn’t truth” while arguing that the president should avoid testifying for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. His point was to suggest Trump could fall victim to a perjury trap.
Laughing in astonishment, NBC’s Chuck Todd replied, “This is going to become a bad meme.”
Sounding off on the spin, The Root’s Jason Johnson called it “the best diversion of all.”
“If you can convince people that what they see in front of them is not truth,” he said, it’s “the best diversion of all.”
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank gave Trump props for having the audacity to lie on the world stage during his Finland summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but ultimately appeared to back Giuliani for the win.
“I want to give high points to Trump for level of difficulty,” he said. “That remark was made in Helsinki when the whole world knew he wasn’t telling the truth there. But still, I think just in terms of study of epistemology, I think we really have to respect the scholarly accomplishments of the former mayor.”
Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin said the choice was clear.
“I think Rudy wins it just because of the effect it had on poor Todd―reduced him to absolute, you know, collapse. ― It’s the kind of answer you can only dream of getting.”
In the end, Matthews agreed.