Visibly Stunned Steve Kornacki Takes Over On-Air After Chris Matthews Resigns

The MSNBC journalist took over the rest of the hour after the "Hardball" host announced his resignation.

Steve Kornacki was visibly stunned Monday as he took over MSNBC’s “Hardball” moments after veteran host Chris Matthews abruptly announced his resignation from the network on-air. 

“Um, that was a lot to take in just now, I’m sure. And I’m sure you’re still absorbing that, and I am, too. Chris Matthews is a giant. He’s a legend. It’s been an honor for me to work with him, to sit in here on occasion, and I know how much you meant to him, and I know how much he meant to you,” the MSNBC political correspondent said following a commercial break. 

“We’re not going to have any bells or whistles here. We do have to fill the rest of this hour. We’re going to take a quick break and come back with today’s news.”

Matthews delivered the news of his departure and signed off in under two minutes Monday. His decision comes after recent sexist comments renewed criticism against him for his history of sexual harassment allegations, and after freelance journalist and former HuffPost writer Laura Bassett wrote an article confirming that Matthews was the unnamed “famous broadcast journalist” she wrote about in 2017 that had made inappropriate comments about her appearance.

After recollecting himself during the commercial break, Kornacki, who sometimes is a guest host on the show, delivered the rest of the program.

An MSNBC spokesman said Monday that a rotating series of hosts would fill Matthews’s spot until a permanent replacement is found.

Kornacki’s name trended on Twitter as viewers interpreted his reaction to the news.