Hardball Panel Briefly Kicks Around Secret Service Conspiracy Theory

September 30th, 2014 9:18 PM

During a panel discussion on the September 30 program, MSNBC Hardball panelists briefly kicked around how some folks may feel that recent lapses in Secret Service security are not accidental but in some way intentional, borne out of a dislike or hatred for the president within the agency's ranks. 

While none of the panelists nor host Chris Matthews gave the idea much credence, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart offered that many folks on his Twitter feed had been pinging him with suggestions that the Secret Service was deliberately slacking off on the job out of malice. 

You can read the relevant transcript below. The relevant video is embedded below:

MSNBC / Hardball

September 30, 2014; 7:43 p.m. Eastern; 1 minutes, 20 seconds

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you think there might be some suspicions, not that we're looking for conspiracies, but I noticed that among one of my colleagues tonight. This sense that maybe the Secret Service -- you know the old conspiracies about Kennedy, they really didn't like him, he was against the war. Which I knew was nonsense. They loved the guy. And all the guys, certainly the people in the White House, all these people were for Kennedy,they were loyal people, loyal Americans, but this idea that somehow Obama is being exposed to more dangers because somebody doesn't like him? 

JONATHAN CAPEHART, Washington Post columnist: Well, I mean, I'm seeing that on my Twitter feed. There are a lot of people who are asking questions. Each passing day since Carol Leonnig's story first hit. On Saturday night at 5 o'clock, then Sunday at 5 o'clock, yesterday at 5 o'clock, today at 5 o'clock. There are all these new stories where it looks like, you know, why all of the sudden are we seeing these huge dangers?

MATTHEWS: Like they're playing down on the job because they don't like him?

CAPEHART: Yeah! I mean that's--

JEANNE CUMMINGS, Bloomberg News: No, no.

CAPEHART: No, no, no, no, but I'm saying, but that's what's coming across on my Twitter feed.

MATTHEWS: These are conspiracy theories, obviously.


CUMMINGS: But it's also a matter of perspective, because he has had, what, three times as man threats on his life as prior presidents?

MATTHEWS: In the beginning that was, apparently that has settled down. But in the beginning that was true. 

CUMMINGS: But that means the Secret Service has had a very high, you know had a big load right now in terms of protecting him. 

MATTHEWS: [unintelligible] record with the Secret Service. I'll say it again, these guys put themselves in front of the bullet. They take the bullet and Jerry Paar saved Ronald Reagan's life in three minutes by getting to G.W. hospital.