Fresh off his win in the New Hampshire Republican primary, Donald Trump on Wednesday thanked the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for being his “supporters” during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“You guys have been supporters and I really appreciate it,” Trump said in a phone interview with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. “And not necessarily supporters but at least believers. You said there’s some potential there.”
Brzezinski shot a sidelong look at her co-host while Trump spoke. Scarborough then jumped in to clarify that the pair had not endorsed the real estate mogul.
“When you say supporter, you’re obviously talking about how actually … there were a handful of people who for six months have been saying what happened last night could happen and the rest of the media world has been mocking and ridiculing exactly what he’s done,” Scarborough said.
Trump said he appreciated the hosts’ lack of “anger” while discussing his presidential run and insisted that they were some of the only pundits who took his unlikely rise to the top of the polls seriously.
Later in the segment, Scarborough again tried to clarify the show’s position.
“Some people have confused reporting what we’re seeing with advocacy,” he said.
“We’re looking at numbers, we’re talking to people not in New York and Washington but in the country and saying he has his finger on the pulse of something that people didn’t recognize,” Scarborough continued. “Did I think when he descended the escalator on June 16 into the bowels of Trump Tower that he would be winning New Hampshire? I can’t say so. But I knew he was smart, I knew he was talented and so as the months went on it became harder and harder to deny what we were seeing in front of our faces.”
The GOP candidate has been a frequent guest on MSNBC’s marquee morning show since he began his presidential run in June. As anonymous sources told CNN, Brzezinski and Scarborough also stopped by Trump’s hotel room as the New Hampshire primary results rolled in Tuesday night.
Trump noted in the interview that “it was great” to see Brzezinski and Scarborough the previous evening.
Scarborough fired back on Twitter on Wednesday, saying that CNN’s sources were “wrong” about their primary night visit.
Your sources are wrong, and your sources are CNN reporters. You spread a different lie about us every day. https://t.co/gBcBZ51kDw
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) February 10, 2016