'Morning Joe' Hosts Reject Criticism That They're Trump Boosters

MSNBC

The co-hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, have come under fire for their coverage of Donald Trump, but the two morning show hosts argue that the criticism is unfounded and that they have in fact been tough on Trump.

“It’s not fair,” Brzezinski told Vanity Fair in an interview published Thursday night. “No one has been tougher on Donald Trump than Joe and I.”

Scarborough has acknowledged that he and Brzezinski speak with Trump regularly. And last month, a rival morning show host, CNN's Chris Cuomo, described the "Morning Joe" hosts as Trump spokespeople.

But Brzezinski argued to Vanity Fair that the regular conversations with Trump do not result in slanted coverage on "Morning Joe," and she said that she and Scarborough have only met Trump in person a few times.

"In our most recent conversation, I told him I want him to do something big for women. I said that on the air this morning. So I’m not sure why this is being translated by our competitors, and the narrative they want to create as dirty. What we have is access, and we’re literally being as transparent as we can about it," she said.

Scarborough told Vanity Fair that he's also been critical of Trump, which Scarborough said proves that criticism of the show's Trump coverage is unfounded.

"I called Donald Trump a racist. Nobody that makes that charge is being intellectually honest, or else they’re being intellectually lazy. As we have said, find anybody that has been harsher on Donald Trump than Mika or myself. Find anyone who’s had more personal attacks. He attacked us personally. He called Mika neurotic. He called Mika stupid. He accused us of committing adultery over eight years. It got personal," Scarborough told Vanity Fair. "And you know what we did? We didn’t strike out. We kept doing what we did. When Hillary Clinton deserved to be praised, we praised her. When Donald Trump did, as well, we did that, too. How much more could we prove?"

Scarborough also lashed out at Cuomo for criticizing the show.

"First of all, you have to take whatever Chris Cuomo says or retweets with a grain of salt because he also retweeted something saying that Morning Joe was a racist show. Unfortunately, he’s obviously unhinged by something," he told Vanity Fair. "We’ve never said anything bad about him, never said anything negative about the show, never said anything negative about the show. But he apparently is becoming unhinged for some reason."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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