One of the more fascinating revelations that has come as a result of President Trump‘s vulgar tweets toward Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski yesterday, was the allegation that the White House threatened Mika and her co-host Joe Scarborough with a negative story planned by National Enquirer.
This stunning claim was first revealed in a Washington Post opinion piece published this morning — that was co-written by the morning show hosts– and strongly suggests that, under President Trump’s direction, the Morning Joe co-hosts felt pressure to somehow do right by the White House, and in exchange the story would be spiked.
On today’s riveting “interview” with the co-hosts — who delayed a planned vacation so that they could address this story — Joe and Mika went into great detail about this remarkably unsettling episode, which if true, raises remarkably significant questions about the White House’s relationship with a free press.
The National Enquirer is the premier title of American Media, Inc., which is based in Boca Raton, fairly close Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, and is owned by David Pecker, who is a close ally of the president.
If true, the details shared by Scarborough of how senior administration officials alleged pressure on both he and Mika, and how National Enquirer reporters hounded Brzenzki’s family members (even the children!) should send shivers down the spine of anyone who believes in a society that can openly criticize elected officials without fear of reproach.
It is difficult to predict how any news narrative will evolve under a Trump administration, but one gets the sense that when the dust settles around Trump’s anti-Mika tweets, this part of the story will continue to be dissected.
Watch the segment above, courtesy of MSNBC.
UPDATE 8:55 p.m.: Press secretary Sean Spicer said he was “not aware” of White House officials blackmailing Morning Joe, per New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman:
Sean Spicer says “I’m not aware” of WH officials calling Joe/Mika to get them to apologize to Trump in exchange for spiking Enquirer story
— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) June 30, 2017
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