MSNBC Insists ‘Morning Joe’ Hosts Didn’t Hang With Trump After NH Primary

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

MSNBC fired back at CNN media reporter Dylan Byers after he reported that the hosts of “Morning Joe” “hung out” with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump Tuesday night as the New Hampshire primary results came in.

Byers tweeted Wednesday that he heard about the MSNBC hosts’ visit to Trump’s hotel room from two anonymous sources:

MSNBC said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon that “Morning Joe”‘s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski interviewed Trump’s senior staffers, then were invited to speak with the candidate for “less than five minutes” to get his reaction to his primary victory. (Scarborough and Brzezinski did not return CNN’s requests for comment on its original story).

“CNN’s media reporter, Dylan Byers, is implying that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski watched election returns with Donald Trump last night in New Hampshire,” the statement read. “That is not true.”

MSNBC’s response came after Trump thanked the duo Wednesday morning in an on-air interview for being his “supporters.” He added that he appreciated that Scarborough and Brzezinski took his 2016 campaign seriously while other commentators did not.

Both MSNBC and Scarborough touted their ratings as they rebuffed the CNN report.

In its statement, the network said: “Morning Joe is off to a great start in this election year. In January, the show had 28% more viewers than CNN’s morning show last month. And thus far in February, more people are watching Morning Joe than CNN.”

Scarborough tweeted a link to the network’s statement and wrote that “More people watched Morning Joe than CNN 6 years in a row:”

He also sent out a series of angry tweets in response to CNN’s coverage of Trump’s praise for the show, accusing the rival network of spreading “a different lie about us every day.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK