Considering left-leaning MSNBC still signs Joe Scarborough’s paychecks and he’s consistently feigned neutrality in the presidential election, it seemed clear that his support of Donald Trump was meant to remain under the radar. Unfortunately for that facade, nobody bothered to tell Trump.
While Scarborough was interviewing Trump on MSNBC’s Morning Joe things reached an awkward tipping point when the Republican front-runner casually remarked that he appreciated the fact that Scarborough and his co-host Mika Brzezinski were his “supporters” while most of the media was against him.
“It was great seeing you, you guys have been supporters and I appreciate it. And not necessarily supporters but at least believers.”
Hilariously, this sent the pundits scrambling to undo the potentially career-ending damage of being tainted with Trump’s name. After all, it’s bad enough that they, in their capacity as journalists, would choose to pull for any particular candidate, but a racist, xenophobic, torture-enthusiast one is egregious. Brzezinski fares pretty well. She has consistently criticized Trump’s toxic demagoguery. Scarborough on the other hand…
In his clawing desperation to distance himself from Trump, he manages to throw several of his colleagues under the bus as well:
“Well, I will tell you what when you say ‘supported’ you’re talking about how actually — you’re talking about Bob (Costa), Mika, myself, also Halperin, Willie and those of us around the table. There were a handful of people who for six months have been saying what happened last night could happen, and the rest of the media world has been mocking and ridiculing what he’s done.”
But while Scarborough would like us to believe he’s simply a political savant who predicted Trump’s rise, there is mounting evidence that he really does long for a Trump win.
In December, when Trump’s campaign was starting to change from “This guy is a complete joke” to “This guy could actually win the nomination,” Scarborough openly bragged that he helped Trump prepare for the first debate. It was largely considered to be a make-or-break moment for Trump and his buddy Joe Scarborough was there to help walk him through the process. Let’s allow Scarborough to tell it.
“I’ve actually called him up, and I’ve said ‘Donald, listen, you need to speak in complete sentences in debates.’ And he goes, ‘I’m up 30 points, Joe,’ and I’m like, ‘Good point, Donald,’” he said to laughter.
He later admitted he met personally with Trump to congratulate him on his second debate performance, albeit saying “I hope we don’t have reporters here.”
Further, there has been rumors that Scarborough and Brzezinski met up with Trump on the night of the New Hampshire primary to celebrate his first win. Again, he had hoped to keep it a secret. CNN broke the story anyway:
Scarborough and Brzezinski visited Trump’s hotel room on Tuesday night while the New Hampshire primary results were rolling in, according to two sources with knowledge of their visit. Scarborough and Brzezinski did not respond to a request for comment.
After this article was published, Scarborough posted a series of tweets accusing CNN of lying about him. “Your sources are wrong,” he wrote. Scarborough did not explicitly deny that he visited Trump’s hotel room, however.
Undermining Scarborough’s denials, Trump greeted Scarborough on Morning Joe by saying “it was great” seeing them the previous evening. Oops.
While it’s a wonder that anyone would support a guy like Trump, Scarborough’s fixation isn’t entirely out of left field. Despite his posturing as a “moderate” Republican, he’s provided plenty of evidence to suggest a war-mongering, egomaniac like Trump would get him hot and bothered. When a group of U.S. soldiers accidentally floated into Iranian waters and were briefly detained, Scarborough shot off a series of embarrassing tweets that advocated for a president who was willing to start a world war over it.
Hey Iran, you have exactly 300 days left to push a US president around. Enjoy it while you can. After that, there will be hell to pay.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) January 12, 2016
(Obama didn’t take his advice. Instead, he got the sailors released in less than 24 hours by diplomacy. No shots were fired.)
Scarborough has flirted with supporting Trump for too long. To maintain any credibility at all, he needs to either openly admit he’s backing the racist buffoon or clarify why he feels so invested in helping him win the election. Hotel visits, late-night debate prep calls, endless soft interviews on his show, all of this is beginning to paint a pretty clear picture. It’s not a good one.
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