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Chris Matthews Thinks It's 'A Little Ridiculous' to Blame Obama Admin for Benghazi Security

MSNBC's Chris Matthews ranted on Thursday's Hardball that "it's a ridiculous" to hold the Obama administration culpable for the lack of security around the Benghazi compound during the September, 2012 attacks.

"But the idea that somebody else should have been covering for him [Ambassador Chris Stevens], that someone else should have the army there waiting to defend him, I think it's a little ridiculous," Matthews insisted. "How would the President even know he [Stevens] was going on that trip out there to Benghazi?

[Audio here.]

Guest Michael Steele was incredulous at Matthews' assertion. "If the President doesn't know, at least his Secretary of State and her department should know what his [Stevens'] needs are on the ground and what is required to protect the United States ambassador in a place like Benghazi."

Matthews said Ambassador Chris Stevens was a "grown-up" who chose to make the "risky" trip to Benghazi, and that attacks happen all the time around the world:

"We live in a world of unpredictability and horror. And the idea that one of these incidents would be blown up as the most important issue of the upcoming presidential elections for kingdom come to me is out of proportion."

Below is a transcript of the May 1 Hardball segment aired at 7:08 PM EDT:

Rep. DARRELL ISSA (R-Calif.): It comes in a week in which the American people have learned that you can not believe what the White House says, you cannot believe what the spokespeople say, and you cannot believe what the President says. And the facts are coming out that, in fact, this administration has knowingly withheld documents pursuant to congressional subpoenas in violation of any reasonable transparency or historic precedent, at least since Richard Milhous Nixon.

(End Video Clip)

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well David Corn, it does seem to me you're right. The language coming out of these people couldn't be more horrendous, given the fact that there's hardly even a nuance of difference between what we're learning now and what we learned a long time ago about the tragedy that occurred in Benghazi. By the way, would we please all remember that Ambassador Chris Stevens was a grown-up, a serious professional of sound mind. He decided to go out there to that risky facility that night. He made that decision which ambassadors have to make. It turned out to be a horrific situation me walked into. But the idea that somebody else should have been covering for him, that someone else should have the army there waiting to defend him, I think it's a little ridiculous.

(Crosstalk)

MICHAEL STEELE: I think it's the responsibility of the President of the United States and his administration to protect those ambassadors who do go into harm's way willingly –

(Crosstalk)

MATTHEWS: How would he know that Chris Stevens was going out to a facility alongside a CIA facility in the middle of the night some weekend. How would he know that?

STEELE: How would he know what? I didn't hear the question.

MATTHEWS: How would the President even know he was going on that trip out there to Benghazi?

STEELE: How would the President know that specific event? We do have e-mails and correspondent between the ambassador and the State Department. If the President doesn't know, at least his Secretary of State and her department should know what his needs are on the ground and what is required to protect the United States ambassador in a place like Benghazi. Come on guys, this isn't rocket science and you daggone well if the shoe were on the other foot, you would be screaming holy hell about how a Bush administration failed to protect one of its ambassadors.

(...)

MATTHEWS: But this argument, it seems to me, trying to apply this to what happens in any war zone – which is this was a war zone. This country was not being governed at the time. You go into Afghanistan, you go into Syria today, you go into Iraq, there are places in the world where dangerous to go to. Where people get killed all the time in surprise ambushes. It happens all the time. Roadside bombings. Improvised explosive devices. We live in a world of unpredictability and horror. And the idea that one of these incidents would be blown up as the most important issue of the upcoming presidential elections for kingdom come to me is out of proportion.

— Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matt Hadro on Twitter.