Are Donald Trump’s Attacks on ‘Morning Joe’ Ratings Accurate?

“‘Morning Joe’ just had its best quarter ever,” an MSNBC spokesperson tells TheWrap

Last Updated: May 9, 2016 @ 5:19 AM

Donald Trump’s strange relationship with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” got even stranger when the presumptive GOP nominee attacked the show’s “rapidly fading” ratings on Friday, prompting co-host Joe Scarborough to ask, “Define ‘rapidly fading,’ Donnie boy.”

Trump was apparently upset that Scarborough suggested it would be a good time for a third-party candidate to run, tweeting, “I hear @JoeNBC of rapidly fading @Morning_Joe is pushing hard for a third party candidate to run. This will guarantee a Crooked Hillary win.”

Scarborough responded, “Rapidly fading?” Umm…we are enjoying our best ratings ever. Lots of luck, fella.”

In a statement to TheWrap, an MSNBC spokesperson said, “Morning Joe” just had its best quarter ever and for the month of April 2016,” noting the show’s 16-percent lead over CNN’s “New Day” in the 25-54 demo and 14-month streak of total-viewer wins.

“You heard wrong, cowboy. We talk about scenarios. Never fear. MJ is going to beat CNN for the 7th straight year,” Scarborough tweeted on Friday.

Trump also tweeted, “Joe Scarborough initially endorsed Jeb Bush and Jeb crashed, then John Kasich and that didn’t work. Not much power or insight!”

There’s some irony in Trump’s condemnation of Scarborough’s plea for a third option this November; Trump has repeatedly called for Bernie Sanders to run as a third-party candidate himself. It’s unclear whether there’s more to this beef than tweets the eye, but the third-party dispute has sparked a Twitter feud between two men who appeared to genuinely like each other.

Earlier this week, director Rob Reiner confronted Scarborough and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski for going too easy on Trump during his march to the Republican presidential nomination. Last month, Scarborough even bragged that he was right about Trump all along.

“I hate to say it: We were right, everybody else was wrong,” Scarborough said. “Everybody else was stupid, and they were wrong every single day. We were right.”

Scarborough, who has been accused of covertly supporting Trump, defended his feelings on the situation after declaring that he was right.

“So then they said, ‘Oh, you’re in the tank for Trump,'” Scarborough said. “Hey, how about this, let’s put this on a bumper sticker: We’re in the tank for truth.”

Brzezinski and Scarborough were accused of turning a February MSNBC Town Hall with Donald Trump into a “puff session” — and that was before audio leaked from a hot mic that captured the trio talking during commercial breaks.

“We really do have to go to some questions,” Scarborough said during the break before Trump chimed in with, “Nothing too hard, Mika,” who can then be heard saying, “OK.” Brzezinski told the Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone that she was talking to her producer, not Trump.

TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck also called out Scarborough last month, but not by name, in an open letter to Megyn Kelly.

It’s confounding that Trump would attack Scarborough, or Brzezinski, whom so many see as two of his biggest allies in the media. But if this campaign season has been anything, it’s confounding.

Check out some of the tweets:

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