Last week, Chris Matthews, anchor of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” was caught on a live microphone ogling Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, during the network’s coverage of the Indiana primary. Apparently unaware that he was being recorded, Matthews said of the former model: “Did you see her walk? My god is that good. I could watch that runway show.” With his comments, the historically outspoken pundit joins an illustrious crowd of world leaders busted by recording devices. Here, a quick history of the greatest slips.
Barack Obama: Days after Kanye West stormed the stage at the 2009 Video Music Awards, snatching the microphone from Taylor Swift as she accepted the award for best female video, President Obama accidentally weighed in. “I thought that was really inappropriate,” he was recorded saying as he prepared for a CNBC interview. “He’s a jackass.”
George W. Bush: During the 2000 presidential election, Bush and Dick Cheney were caught disparaging New York Times national political reporter Adam Clymer. Bush described Clymer as a “major-league asshole,” and Cheney responded, “Yeah, big time.” Bush later explained: “I said what I said. I’m a plainspoken fellow.”
Carly Fiorina: Donald Trump may have famously taken a swipe at Fiorina’s appearance, but the businesswoman has spoken similarly about a rival. In 2010, when Fiorina was running for U.S. Senate, she was recorded by CNN discussing Barbara Boxer, saying: “God, what is that hair? So yesterday!” Fiorina lost the election.
Prince Charles: In 2005, during a photo shoot in honor of Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles, the dignitary expressed his distaste for the press. At the event, packed with more than 50 journalists, the royal turned to sons William and Harry and griped, “I hate doing this. I hate these people.”
Jacques Chirac: In a 2005 conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, French President Chirac took a swipe at British husbandry, as well as British food. “The only thing that they have ever done for European agriculture is mad cow disease,” Chirac said. “You cannot trust people who have such bad cuisine.”
Ronald Reagan: In 1984, as President Reagan was publicly tiptoeing through Cold War politics, he was recorded joking about bombing Russia during a sound check for a radio interview. “My fellow Americans,” Reagan said. “I’m pleased to tell you that I’ve signed legislation to outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”
Robert Durst: Mystery has surrounded real estate scion Durst for decades. But as he was being followed for the 2015 HBO documentary “The Jinx,” producers caught him in a possible admission of guilt. “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course,” Durst was recorded saying. Eventually arrested on an unrelated gun charge, Durst will soon be arraigned for the 2000 murder of Susan Berman.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: In 2006, California Gov. Schwarzenegger and several staffers were recorded trying to guess the country of origin of state legislator Bonnie Garcia. “I mean, they are all very hot,” Schwarzenegger said on the tape. “They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it.” Garcia later said she was not bothered by the comments.