A panel on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday was not pleased with what a Daily Beast reporter had to say about decades-old rape allegations against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
On Monday, the Daily Beast published an article that said the real estate mogul’s ex-wife, Ivana Trump, used the word “rape” to describe a 1989 incident between her and her then-husband.
But on Wednesday morning, while interviewing Daily Beast reporter Tim Mak, who wrote the article, the MSNBC panel questioned whether the allegations even still had merit.
MSNBC contributor Mike Barnacle said divorces are “ugly” by nature and questioned what else reporters would be looking at in Trump’s background.
“You can’t get, you know, a more arcane aspect of the Trump background than the divorce settlement 15, 20 years ago,” Barnacle said.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski appeared disinterested and sighed through much of Mak’s answers because, she said, she thought the reporting was irrelevant.
“Let me know when you’re actually going to uncover something new,” Brzezinski said, trying to end the interview as co-host Joe Scarborough tried to continue on.
Mak defended the story.
“When you have his top, one of the top advisors, his lawyer who should know better, saying that there’s no such thing as spousal rape — that by definition that doesn’t exist — that’s alarming,” Mak said.
Scarborough appeared to cut the interview short and remarked that Mak had “walked into a buzzsaw.”
“I think it’s just better for all of us right now to thank you for coming and to slowly walk away from this segment. Thank you, Tim,” Scarborough said.
Trump’s special counsel, Michael Cohen, had defended the former reality star as part of the Daily Beast’s original article, telling the website, “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”
Spousal rape has been illegal in New York state since 1984.
Trump later told CNN that Cohen was “not speaking for me, obviously.” Cohen later recanted and apologized. Ivana voiced her support for Trump as both a father and presidential candidate after the story published.
The former reality star was was pleased by the “Morning Joe” exchange.
Thank you @Morning_Joe for throwing the pathetic reporter from the failing and money losing Daily Beast off the air. Really cool!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2015
You do understand that it’s because Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski doesn’t want to discuss you, right? https://t.co/h03eMISKt5
— Tim Mak (@timkmak) July 29, 2015
MSNBC contributor Harold Ford Jr. predicted Cohen’s gaffe would do little to impact Trump’s campaign.
“But to go after him in this way, if this is the best the press has against him, he’s going to be around a little longer than some predicted,” Ford said. “In fact, he’ll find himself in a spotlight for legitimately so for a longer period of time.”
Watch the exchange below: