Chris Matthews Retires From 'Hardball' — Watch His Announcement (VIDEO)

Meaghan Darwish
Chris Matthews Hardball
Stephen Cohen/MSNBC

Chris Matthews announced his sudden and surprise retirement from MSNBC's Hardball on Monday night.

Addressing the audience directly, Matthews began his segment by saying, "Let me start with my headline tonight: I'm retiring. This is the last Hardball on MSNBC." He then launched into a nearly two-minute explanation for his departure which included indirectly addressing sexual harassment allegations made against him just days before by GQ writer and political columnist Laura Bassett.

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In the piece, Bassett wrote:

"In 2016, right before I had to go on his show and talk about sexual-assault allegations against Donald Trump, Matthews looked over at me in the makeup chair next to him and said, 'Why haven't I fallen in love with you yet?' When I laughed nervously and said nothing, he followed up to the makeup artist. 'Keep putting makeup on her, I'll fall in love with her.'"

Chris Matthews

(Credit: Heidi Gutman/MSNBC)

As his retirement announcement continued, Matthews said, "Obviously this isn't for a lack of interest in politics. As you can tell, I've loved every minute of my 20 years as host of Hardball. Every morning, I read the papers, and I'm gung-ho to get to work. Not many people have had this privilege."

He went on to further explain that "the younger generations out there are ready to take the reins. We see them in politics and the media and fighting for their causes. They're improving the workplace. We're talking here about better standards than we grew up with — fair standards."

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This is where his announcement leads into addressing the allegations as he said, "A lot of it has to do with how we talk to each other. Compliments on a woman's appearance that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were OK were never OK. Not then and certainly not today. For making such comments in the past, I'm sorry."

You can watch Matthew's full retirement announcement below.