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Trump Accuses Morning Joe of Being Trump ‘Supporters,’ Joe and Mika Push Back

mj-e1455121690767On the heels of his massive win in the New Hampshire primary, Donald Trump called in to MSNBC’s Morning Joe to stir up a little bit of trouble by delivering what he must have thought was a compliment. Toward the end of the interview, Trump thanked co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski for being “supporters,” and even though Trump quickly disclaimed the praise, it sent Brzezinski and Scarborough into a comical fit of defensive “clarification.”

“It was great seeing you, you guys have been supporters and I appreciate it,” Trump said, quickly adding “And not necessarily supporters but at least believers.”

That bit of backpedaling wasn’t quite enough for the hosts, who raced away from the “supporters” label, but seemed to accept the “believers” descriptor:

Scarborough: Well, I will tell you what when you say “supported” you’re talking about how actually — you’re talking about Bob (Costa), Mika, myself, also Halperin, Willie and those of us around the table. 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 what he’s done.

Brzezinski: Donald and I have not agreed on things ever since we started talking about pageants on “Morning Joe,” so it’s not like Donald and I have the same worldview. You guys might in some ways. But we knew that he could do this from the get-go. So I think the sense is that we believed that his talents actually could follow through and translate into something, while everyone else underestimated him.

That wasn’t the end of it, though, because the taint of Trump supporterdom is so great that they continued to sprint away from it after he hung up,

Scarborough: I’ve heard advocacy from people before, or support. Donald said support. It’s not support.

Brzezinski: Somebody yelled at you for being in the tank.

Scarborough: Governor Sununu, in fact. And I would dare say that I’m the only person who had hung up on Donald Trump on live television. And we’ve been critical of his approach towards Muslims, we said he went too far on John McCain.

Brzezinski: I would haven’t used the word he used the other night.

Scarborough: Same thing there. But at the same time, our job, and Bob in part your job, is to be an analyst and say, whether we support him or not, whether we’re going to vote for him or not, whether we agree with him or not, our job is to talk about how this race is going to look.

For the record, I believed Trump could win before anyone else did (for vastly different reasons), and yet have still managed to mock and ridicule what he has done. The two are not mutually exclusive. What’s stunning about their “defense” is that it ignores the degree to which their “belief” in Trump may have fueled his success. They’re certainly not alone in this regard, not even just at MSNBC, but at a certain point that was passed long ago, “analysis” crosses the line into promotion. They may not be Donald Trump “supporters” in the strictest sense of the word, but they are Trump promoters, and Morning Joe was an early adopter.

UPDATE –– 3:04 pm EST: MSNBC issued a statement on reports about Scarborough and Brzezinski spending time in Trump’s hotel room last night, insisting they just did what all good journalists are supposed to do.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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