On Tuesday morning, cable news programs were still laser focused on Republican Presidential favorite and Ziploc bag full of spray cheese Donald Trump’s recent semi-embrace and non-disavowment of the Ku Klux Klan and former leader David Duke. Since The Donald’s disastrous interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday morning, the news cycle has been dominated by reactions across the political spectrum, as well as Trump’s attempts to explain away his lack of condemnation of the KKK and white supremacy.
During one of these morning segments, one network’s host threw some major shade at one of his rivals. Moderating a panel discussion on CNN’s New Day, Chris Cuomo noted the dramatic shift of tone coming from Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough when it came to Donald Trump, and spanked him for giving the celebrity billionaire “safe harbor” since Trump announced his candidacy.
Following panelist and former NBC anchor David Gregory’s comments on Trump, in which the ex-Meet the Press host repeated the common refrain that his Sunday interview was “disqualifying,” Cuomo noted that Scarborough and former GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney had said the same thing. That’s when he hit JoeScar with a sucker punch.
“Romney saying it’s disqualifying. You just heard it from another congressman. And his buddy, on another morning show, who’s been giving him safe harbor for months, he said it’s disqualifying.”
Of course, Cuomo and Morning Joe have been feuding for a while now, with Joe constantly hyping up his show’s ratings as proof of their superiority. MSNBC has even used the program’s spike in ratings since the Rise of Trump to try to insulate the hosts from criticism over their chumminess with the former reality TV star, especially after CNN’s Dylan Byers reported that Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski watched the New Hampshire primary returns in Trump’s hotel room.
With Joe and Mika dealing with a ton of fallout over their cozy relationship with the GOP frontrunner, it was only a matter of time before they found a way to pretend to distance themselves from Trump. Sunday’s comments came at just the right time as it allowed Scarborough to write a ‘scathing’ op-ed on Trump and take to Monday’s program to call the interview “disqualifying.” On Tuesday morning, while Cuomo was going mean girl on Joe, Scarborough defended the program’s coverage of Trump for the umpteenth time, claiming they were just ahead of the curve in recognizing his viability.
“And you know Mika, we’ve actually been hammered by people saying, “oh, you’re supporting Donald.” No, we’re not supporting Donald Trump. We haven’t supported Donald Trump. There’s a great article in The Washington Post yesterday where somebody said, “even giving him a chance, suggesting that his candidacy might be viable, was so misperceived by an arrogant mainstream media, that just saying he had a chance to win meant you were somehow supporting him.” And it’s just a lie, and it’s been a lie. I’ve said very clearly on this show that I supported Jeb Bush time and time again. But we saw the viability here. Nobody else did. And that’s just — okay. Other than Steve Schmidt, who’s the only other person that came on, early on, this set and said it.”
Keep telling yourself that, Joe. You just keep telling yourself that. Whatever you and Mika need to do to get yourselves through the day.