“Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough announced on CBS’s “The Late Show” that he’s leaving the Republican party to become an Independent.
Joined on the show by his co-host Mika Brzezinski, Scarborough was asked by Stephen Colbert why Republican members of Congress were so unwilling to turn on President Donald Trump. Scarborough responded that Republican officials had “betrayed their core values.”
“I am a Republican,” Scarborough says in a new preview of the interview, which will air Tuesday night. “But I’m not going to be a Republican anymore. I’ve got to become an Independent.”
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) July 11, 2017
Scarborough served as a Republican representative for Florida’s 1st District from 1995 to 2001.
“I think it’s inexplicable,” Scarborough said of the behavior of Republicans in Congress. “But this is well before Donald Trump was elected president that my party has betrayed their core values. I remember back in December of 2015 when Donald Trump supported a Muslim ban. I said on the air, ‘It’s very simple, it’s black and white.’ I said I could never vote for anybody in my party that would say they were going to ban people because of the god that they worshipped.”
Scarborough also referenced Republican unwillingness to withdraw support for Trump during the campaign when the then-candidate refused to disavow an endorsement from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Or when Trump was criticized for questioning the legitimacy of Judge Gonzalo Curiel on the basis of his Mexican heritage.
“You didn’t have Republicans coming out saying, “I can never support Donald Trump because he’s racist.” They would have a thousand other excuses why, but they always overlooked that,” Scarborough said. “Time and time and time again, they turned the other way.”
“And they’re doing the same thing now, and it’s actually disgusting,” he continued. “And you have to ask yourself, what exactly is the Republican party willing to do? How far are they willing to go? How much of this country and our values are they willing to sell out?”