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Discussing 'Deep Throat'

MSNBC's Matthews, says Felt "has always been the leading suspect."
/ Source:

W. Mark Felt, 91, the No. 2 man in the FBI during the early 1970s, has reportedly identified himself as the "Deep Throat" source quoted by The Washington Post to break the Watergate scandal, Vanity Fair magazine said Tuesday.  Once the news broke Tuesday, MSNBC's Chief Washington Correspondent Norah O'Donnell and Hardball host Chris Matthews discussed the political bombshell.

To watch the full interview click on the video box above.  An excerpt of the discussion follows:

Nora O’Donnell: Chris, are you stunned? This is exciting.

Chris Matthews: No, I am not stunned. I did a book called 'Kennedy and Nixon' I worked on for years and Mark Felt has always been the leading suspect because he was number two in the FBI and the FBI has done a tremendous job investigating the Watergate break-in and the cover up. They were hot on the trail. That explains of course why Richard Nixon ... in that infamous tape which caused his resignation, tried to use the CIA to cover up for what the FBI was finding out, and telling the FBI to cool it because they were going to ruin the CIA information.

And so clearly, this guy was a dead center, main target candidate for Deep Throat.

O'Donnell:  I’m told that Bernstein has put out a statement.

Matthews: He’s not really denying it.  I think he’s saving it so him and Bob (Woodward) can write something on it in the time of Mark Felt’s passing away.  But clearly, this is a logical suspect.  Carl Bernstein is not denying this man is Deep Throat.  This is a significant development you have to assume Mark Felt is telling the truth at his age, at 91, he’s telling the story of his life basically.  You know, we have to talk to our colleague Monica Crowley about this.  She spent many years with Richard Nixon ... and he always believed that there was in fact a Deep Throat, he wasn’t one of those composites.

He always believed that Woodward and Bernstein had themselves a really good source.  In fact, he always had a theory about the man’s motivation.  He always assumed it was somebody who wanted to move into the media someday, use their good relations with people like Woodward and Bernstein to get ahead.

He said it certainly isn’t a politician because no one would have a political career working for him.

Watch Hardball on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, followed by a special edition of Hardball at 9 p.m. ET that looks into Mark Felt's claims. Watch MSNBC LIVE weekdays from 9 a.m.-Noon on MSNBC TV.