Could we soon be heading back to the days of Morning Trump?
Over the past few months, one-time love affair Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had with Republican nominee Donald Trump has soured int an all-out media feud. Since securing the GOP presidential nomination in May, Trump and the duo have been on bad terms, with Trump accusing the pair of being unfair to him after Joe and Mika criticized his policies and behavior. The real estate mogul has taken to ridiculing the program and hosts any chance he gets, and the MJ personalities have responded in kind.
Well, it appears Scarborough and Brzezinski miss their close buddy and want things to go back to the way things were. Per CNN’s Dylan Byers, the two made their way to Trump Tower last week to meet with the Republican standard-bearer to call a truce and perhaps schedule a well-publicized return interview.
Last week, Scarborough and his “Morning Joe” co-host, Mika Brzezinski, visited the Republican presidential nominee at Trump Tower to rekindle a once-rosy relationship that has turned bitter and adversarial, sources with knowledge of the meeting told CNNMoney.
The three also discussed the possibility of conducting an interview for “Morning Joe,” though nothing was decided or finalized, one of the sources said. Scarborough did not respond to a request for comment.
Considering Trump called Mika neurotic, crazy and having a mental breakdown, among other things, and has threatened to spill the beans on the duo’s rumored romantic relationship, this capitulation is pretty disappointing, but not surprising.
During the GOP primary, Morning Joe was THE place to tune in for Trump sycophancy. Every day either featured a lengthy Trump call-in interview or Scarborough and Brzezinski singing his praises to their audience in his absence. Beyond the wall-to-wall positive coverage he received on the program, you also had the hosts hanging out in Trump’s hotel room during the New Hampshire primary, a leaked voice mail that revealed just how chummy the three of them were and Trump notably calling them “supporters” on the air.
And let us not forget the infamous Morning Joe/Trump town hall, an event that was widely ridiculed as nothing more than a Donald Trump infomercial. (Joe and Mika are still sensitive about the broadcast, using live airtime to defend it to this day.) All in all, until May of this year, Morning Joe was essentially a Donald Trump Super PAC.
So, yeah, while things are rocky now, and Trump has been fairly vicious in his attacks on the program and hosts, I’m sure they still remember the good times and would love to get back there if possible. Especially Joe, who likely has national political ambitions in his sights, and after seeing Trump’s rise, thinks he can use Morning Joe as his catapult to the White House.
In an in-depth profile piece for GQ, one can see the wheels spinning in Joe’s head regarding his political future, which ties into his mindset of possibly cozying back up to Trump:
For all the damage Trump’s presidential run has inﬂicted on the body politic, it’s done something remarkable for Joe Scarborough. It’s boosted his proﬁle on the political-media landscape, sure, but it has also enlarged some already gargantuan ambitions. If the insanity of our political age has induced anxiety in the vast majority of us, in Scarborough something else has been stirred: a renewed conviction that he’s capable of feats far beyond a morning TV show. And at a moment when politics is hot and bizarre and very much alive in our culture, who can blame a guy for thinking big?
For all the newfound acrimony, Trump’s success has prompted Scarborough to re-assess his own political prospects. Although he’s often toyed with the idea of making another run for office—ﬂoating his name for a Florida Senate seat or eyeing the race for Connecticut governor—Scarborough’s ambitions have ratcheted up. Increasingly, he’s grown convinced that if Trump can make a serious run for the presidency, so, potentially, could he. According to Scarborough’s thinking, Trump demonstrates just how formidable a candidate with excellent media skills can be; imagine if such a candidate also possessed a proven understanding of politics.
“I’ll just be really blunt. He actually does present an opening,” Scarborough told me in one of our several conversations. “When I ran [for Congress] in ’94, I ran as a conservative-slash-populist, and Republicans have been getting drubbed on the national level because they all talk like American Enterprise Institute policy wonks,” getting in a subtle dig at, presumably, House Speaker Paul Ryan. Scarborough went on, “Conservative-populists like myself have never been accepted in polite political society, but Donald Trump makes me look absolutely mainstream.”
Michael Weisman, who until earlier this year was the MSNBC executive in charge of Morning Joe, says: “I’ve given up on my dream of playing center field for the Yankees. I don’t think Joe has given up on his dream of being president.”
Joe Scarborough, the very embodiment of delusions of grandeur.