“Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski say their once-friendly relationship with Donald Trump has soured so completely that there’s only one way he can regain their support.
In a recent interview with TheWrap, we asked the couple, “Is there anything Trump can do to get you back in his corner or is it too late?”
“He can leave,” Brzezinski replied.
“He can resign,” said Scarborough.
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“That would be very helpful,” added Brzezinski.
We’re a long way from the days during the presidential campaign when the hosts were accused of being too cozy with Trump. In February 2016, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi wrote that the pair “should be herded into a rocket and shot into space for their brown-nosing of Trump.” The MSNBC show was one of many outlets accused of giving Trump a platform for the sake of ratings.
Scarborough and Brzezinski eventually ramped up their criticisms, and their relationship with Trump disintegrated in June when the president claimed Brzezinski had been “bleeding badly from a face-lift” during a party at his Mar-a-Lago resort around New Year’s Eve. The president was roundly criticized for the ugly personal attack.
The recently engaged Scarborough and Brzezinski spoke with TheWrap last week for an inside look at the 10-year anniversary of “Morning Joe.” We asked them to walk us through how they so completely lost faith in the president.
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TheWrap: Mika has said the personal attacks don’t bother her but what does bother her is that she’s worried for the country. At what point in Trump’s presidency were you the most worried?
Brzezinski: It was early on.
Scarborough: I could tell you that, for me, the first time that I realized that we could be heading directly into a constitutional crisis was when he started challenging the legitimacy of federal judges. This is just something that, I guess, if you run golf courses your whole life, you may not understand exactly what you’re doing. But when he started questioning the legitimacy of the judiciary, I started asking, ‘Well, how far does this go?’ Then a week or two later, he called the press ‘enemies of the people,’ which of course is a Stalineqsue term that the Soviet Union outlawed after Stalin died. That’s when we realized it was getting into even more dangerous territory.
Brzezinski: We had massive reservations throughout the campaign… Last August on the show, Joe revealed that a top foreign policy leader had talked to Trump and Trump asked why the president couldn’t use nukes. Why can’t we nuke people? We were so disturbed, we revealed this on the show and we literally said, ‘Be careful, America.’ We were very worried and for some reason, because their was a relationship with Trump… a lot of people misunderstood that as if we were like, voting for him. Which did not happen. In neither of our cases.
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Scarborough: You can also go back to February… I wrote a column for the Washington Post and I said he was using racist tactics. I think I ended it by asking if this is how the party led by Abraham Lincoln dies? So, with all that said, I think I said I could never vote for him in December of 2015 after the Muslim ban comment. Trump was sending nasty tweets about us… it got really ugly during the campaign but I think Mika would agree with me that as bad as we thought it was going to be, as bad as people who have known him for a decade thought it was going to be — it’s actually even worse.
TheWrap: Is there anything Trump can do to get you back in his corner or is it too late?
Brzezinski: He can leave.
Scarborough: He can resign.
Brzezinski: That would be very helpful.
TheWrap: Trump has been widely criticized for the way he handled Charlottsville. Did he ever show any signs of being a racist, from a personal standpoint, when you were close with him?
Brzezinski: No, honestly no. He’s very kind to people… he seems really nice and funny.
Scarborough: All the times that we had spent time with him… I never heard him make racist comments or say racially insensitive things behind the scenes and I always took him to be a moderate, Manhattan Democratic who was friends with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and the Clintons, and everybody else. I guess all that changed when he figured out that he could use birtherism to make inroads in the Republican Party.
I think it’s all just an absolutely cynical, nasty ploy for him and I think it has been from the beginning of his campaign to try to win support among very dark element of the Republican Party. Unfortunately it worked in the primaries but it’s destroying his presidency.