MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have found themselves in hot water after they were spotted at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on New Year’s Eve, as he was preparing to throw a party. The two hosts have long been accused of propping up Trump and giving him a free editorial pass during the course of the 2016 election, and now they’re being accused of palling around with him in a social setting during a holiday. But Scarborough claims he and Brzezinski had a different reason for being there.
Early on New Year’s Day, the New York Times mentioned in an article about Trump’a party that the two Morning Joe hosts were “there” at the party – without going into detail. That set off a firestorm across social media, as the public began asking why two of the most Trump-friendly journalists on television were at his personal party. Condemnation also came from CBS reporter Sopan Deb, who called out Joe Scarborough via Twitter. That prompted Scarborough to begin angrily firing back.
Joe Scarborough fired off a series of angry tweets which we’ll string together here for easier consumption: “Around 7pm, I had a preset meeting with [Donald Trump] before his party trying to set up an interview (much like reporters at CBS & NYT do.) The event was black tie. Both Mika and I were in casual clothes, did not attend the party, and left before any “partying” began. Nothing that Mika and I did in setting up this meeting was any different than what all good reporters and news hosts try to do daily. Anyone suggesting otherwise is a hypocrite who ignores what great journalists from Ben Bradlee to Tom Brokaw have done for years. I hope we get the interview. Stop lying about us.”
So who’s really telling the truth? Scarborough’s explanation is plausible. But even if accurate, it raises questions as to why the Morning Joe hosts would be willing to create bad optics by agreeing to show up at Donald Trump’s house for professional immediately before a party – particularly considering how Joe and Mika already have a reputation for being Trump’s on-air lapdogs.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report