Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough say they’re fine after President Donald Trump’s tweets yesterday, but the country is not.
The “Morning Joe” hosts responded Friday morning to insulting statements made by Trump that were widely condemned by both Democrats and Republicans Thursday, but defended by Trump’s wife and his spokesperson. Trump called Scarborough “psycho” and called Brzezinski “low I.Q.” and “crazy.”
Both hosts repeatedly said they were fine Friday, but they were concerned about what Trump’s tweets said about the state of the country’s president. The two also responded in a joint column for the Washington Post published Friday.
“Everybody came in and showed me the tweets befeore (Brzezinski) came upstairs, and I looked at them, and was like, this has to be a joke. … as bad as he’s been in the past, he really hadn’t gone over the cliff,” Scarborough said. “He takes things so much more personally with women.”
Scarborough said Trump gets more upset over Brzezinski going after him, and the two speculated that Trump “attacks women because he fears women.”
“I will insult him over the Muslim ban or say he’s a racist… and for some reason he always goes after Mika, and it’s always personal with Mika,” Scarborough said. “And he packed about five lies into the tweets, very productive to pack five lies into two tweets.”
Additionally, the two had a theory that Trump keeps attacking them as blackmail. They cited a story of when they were being threatened with a National Enquirer story, and three White House aides allegedly called Scarborough saying the story would be spiked if they apologized to Trump. Scarborough said the story showed Trump’s “really strange obsession with this show” and a “really disturbing obsession with Mika.”
“We got a call that, hey, the ‘National Enquirer’ is going to run a negative story against you guys. And it was, the president is friends with the guy that runs the ‘National Enquirer.’ And they said, ‘If you call the president up and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike this story,’” Scarborough said. “I had – I will just say -- three people at the very top of the administration calling me, and the response was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”
“The calls kept coming, and kept coming. And they were like ‘Call, you need to call. Please call. Come on, Joe. Just pick up the phone and call him,’” Scarborough said, with Brzezinski adding that the Enquirer was calling her teenage daughters and close friends as well.
“It’s blackmail,” Scarborough said.
Scarborough also accused Trump of “bragging” about false stories in the Enquirer.
“He’d say, have you seen the Ben Carson story? Have you seen the Ben Carson story? Have you seen the story in the ‘Enquirer,’ and then he’d talk out it,” Scarborough said. “But there were all these stories planted in the ‘National Enquirer’ for people that Donald Trump wanted to attack. And then he would talk about it on the campaign trail.”
Scarborough referenced the Enquirer story that alleged without evidence that the father of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Trump played up the story on the campaign trail, when Cruz was one of the few Republican presidential candidates still challenging him.
Trump denied those claims in a tweet Friday morning.
Scarborough responded that he had phone records as proof.
The National Enquirer also put out a statement responding to Scarborough’s remarks, saying the story they ran was true and they did not threaten them or their children. Brzezinski accused the Enquirer of calling her children, but not threatening them.
The hosts had made comments about Trump having false Time Magazine covers in his hotels Thursday morning, which is what many believed sparked the tweets. Brzezinski said she knew at the time that it would set Trump off.
“It is alarming that this president is so easily played by a cable news host,” Brzezinski said. “What is that saying to our allies? What is that saying to our enemies?”