If Joe Scarborough were ever, as some have claimed, in the the tank for Donald Trump, he has officially climbed out as of this morning. On today's Morning Joe, reacting to the clip of Jake Tapper's interview, Scarborough called Trump's refusal to forthrightly reject the support of Klansman David Duke "disqualifying."
A bit later, Joe and Mika Brzezinski said that if Trump fails today to clean up the situation, Chris Christie "cannot stay with Donald Trump's campaign."
Note: it was mentioned that Trump supporters had contacted the show to say that despite Trump's comments to Tapper yesterday, on Friday he had disavowed Duke. The show then aired what seemed a peevish Trump saying "I didn't even know he endorsed me? David Duke endorsed me. Okay, all right. I disavow, okay?"
Note 2: Morning Joe later played a clip from this morning's Today show in which Trump blamed his comments to Tapper on a "bad earpiece."
JAKE TAPPER: Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don't want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke, okay? I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. I don't know. Did he endorse me or what's going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you're asking me a question that I'm supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.
TAPPER: But I guess the question from the Anti-Defamation League is, even if you don't know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you. Would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don't want their support?
TRUMP: Well, I have to look at the group. I mean, I don't know what group you're talking about. You wouldn't want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups I will do research on them and certainly I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong.
TAPPER: The Ku Klux Klan?
TRUMP: But you have groups in there that are totally fine and it would be very unfair. So give me a list of the groups and I'll let you know.
TAPPER: Okay. I'm just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here.
TRUMP: Honestly, I don't know David Duke. I don't believe I've ever met him, I'm pretty sure I didn't meet him. And I just don't know anything about him.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: That's disqualifying right there. It's breathtaking. That Is disqualifying right there.
. . .
WILLIE GEIST: The fodder that Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will have against this guy is unreal.
JOE: You know, Mike, Donald Trump is not one to apologize, he's not one to take a step back. This may be the one time he needs to reach into his pocket --
MIKE BARNICLE: You think?
JOE: -- and grab that card, because if he doesn't, if he doesn't, he'll win in the short run, he'll get destroyed in the Fall.
. . .
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well, what a terrible position this puts Chris Christie in, who should get up and walk away if this isn't disavowed.
JOE: He needs to clean it up.
MIKA: And if he doesn't, that is political opportunism at its worst and down in the dirtiest ditch I've ever seen. And I know Chris Christie but he can't stay with that campaign if this is the way it's run.
JOE: He cannot stay, he cannot stay with Donald Trump's campaign. Chris Christie --
JOE: Chris Christie cannot stay with Donald Trump's campaign if Donald Trump doesn't clean this up today.
. . .
MIKA: On Friday, people are saying that he's tweeted out what he said on Friday, that he disavows. I know you gave a really full-throated disavowal --
JOE: What he should have done here.
MIKA: Let's see how it sounded. Maybe it sounded like he meant it? Let's do it.
TRUMP: [on Friday] I didn't even know he endorsed me. David Duke endorsed me? I disavow. Okay?