Chris Matthews addresses controversy during return to MSNBC: 'I did something wrong'

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Former MSNBC host Chris Matthews returned to his old time slot on Tuesday, appearing on The ReidOut, where he spoke about leaving the network amid controversy. Matthews abruptly retired last March after allegations of inappropriate behavior surfaced. Matthews was accused of flirting with a female journalist who had appeared on his show multiple times going back to 2016.

“I think the reason I — I know the reason I left — somebody reported that I complimented somebody... actually, I’m going to use the right words here. I commented, remarked on somebody’s appearance in the makeup room, and I shouldn’t have done that,” Matthews said. “Nobody has to come defend me. And by the way, I kept all my friends, but nobody needs to defend me. I did something wrong. So I'm going to move on from that. I took ownership of it, using a nice modern phrase. I took complete ownership. I did not deny it. I lost my show over it. That's it. So that's the truth.”

At the time of his retirement, Matthews said that younger generations are “ready to take the reins,” and suggested younger people were bringing “better standards than we grew up with — fair standards” to the workplace. Matthews also acknowledged that he had previously addressed women in an outdated manner, and apologized for doing so.

But Matthews is making the most of his retirement. He said the time off has finally allowed him to write This Country, his new book about his decades-long career in politics and in the media.

“The good news is, I’ve never had in my life two years to actually sit down and write about my 70 years, which is to talk about an incredible life I’ve been so lucky to have, to be on the inside of American politics looking out,” Matthews said, later adding, “It was an amazing experience to work within democracy, and to see parts of the world fighting for democracy, like Nelson Mandela and bringing down the Berlin Wall. I got to see it all in one lifetime. I want to share with the people who watched my show so faithfully all those years.”

The ReidOut airs weeknights at 7 p.m. on MSNBC.

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