For those of us who watched the shameful MSNBC “prime time” Trump town hall event with the growing sense that the network’s moderators, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinksi, were feeding Trump the easiest softball questions, the smoking gun may have just been found. And in the most improbable of places.
On an episode of Harry Sheerer’s podcast, the long-time Simpsons cast member obtained and then played a tape purported (and later confirmed) to be taken on MSNBC’s set during Trump’s prime time special. The tape makes it abundantly clear that the network was working hand-in-hand with the Republican front-runner to keep him happy and at ease during what was supposed to be a combative “town hall” Q&A.
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinkski, already long-time personal friends with Trump, have been fending off accusations that they are in the bag for the candidate for weeks. This tape is exactly the opposite of what they needed.
As The Wrap noted, the discussions, taken during commercial breaks, center around ensuring Trump is okay with certain questions. Brzezinski can be heard asking Trump if he wants her to skip over a tricky deportation question entirely:
“Do you not want me to do, the um, the ones with, um, deportation?”
“We really do have to go to some questions,” Scarborough responds before Trump chimes in with, “Nothing too hard, Mika.”
Brzezinski can be heard saying, “OK,” directly after Trump’s remark. The Town Hall never featured a question about deportation. Shearer says the audio came from his “found objects department” and jokes “you can cut the adversarial tension there with a knife. A butter knife, but still.”
At one point, Brzezinski tells Trump she thought he didn’t have a great debate performance. Yay! But then Scarborough butts in by assuring Trump “We were wrong.” Wait what? The mood remains friendly throughout. So much for tough questions for Trump, a man who continually accuses the press of being unfair to him.
Scarborough, in particular, has been a unabashed Trump superfan for months. By his own account, he’s helped Trump prepare for debates and has often gone to bat for the business mogul against whichever group Trump happened to offend that day. After Trump’s massive win in New Hampshire, Scarborough and Brzezinksi reportedly celebrated with Trump in his hotel room. The next morning, he was a featured guest on their show.
Listen to the leaked audio below via Harry Shearer’s Le Show podcast and decide for yourself. (Leaked audio begins around the 21 minute mark.)
Featured image via MSNBC