'Morning Joe' Co-Hosts Deny Being 'Supporters' of Donald Trump

February 10th, 2016 5:27 PM

Less than a day after Donald Trump won a resounding victory in the New Hampshire primary, the GOP front-runner used his appearance as a guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe program to thank hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski by saying: “You guys have been supporters.”

Of course, the co-hosts -- who were obviously uncomfortable with being described as "supporters” – tried to “clarify” Trump's comments on Wednesday.

It wasn’t an unusual scenario for Morning Joe,” noted Erik Wemple, who “reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts” for the Washington Post newspaper.

“After a big political night, the crew on MSNBC’s famous breakfast show executes a rollicking interview with Republican presidential phenomenon Donald Trump,” Wemple stated.

“So it went on this morning’s edition, as various Morning Joe regulars broke down Trump’s New Hampshire victory and asked him about the future,” the columnist noted.

But at the end of the interview, Trump said: "You guys have been supporters, and I really appreciate it.”

Realizing his compliment might be perceived as violating journalistic integrity, the presidential candidate backpedaled by noting: “And not necessarily supporters, but at least believers. You said there's some potential there."

Scarborough stumbled as he struggled to define the meaning of Trump’s remark: “Well, I will tell you what, when you say 'supporter,' you’re obviously -- you’re talking about how actually -- you’re talking about Bob [Costa of the Washington Post], Mika, myself, also [Mark] Halperin [of Bloomberg Politics], Willie [Geist of the Today Show] and those of us around the table.”

According to an article written by Tom Kludt for the CNN Money website, Scarborough explained: “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 exactly what he's done.”

“Brzezinski, who's more liberal than her Republican co-host, was quick to point out that she hasn't always agreed with Trump,” Kludt noted.

"It's not like Donald and I have the same worldview," she said. "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."

Trump has “a unique relationship” with Morning Joe, the reporter asserted. “He's appeared on the show far more than any other MSNBC program -- although most of those 'appearances' have come over the phone, as was the case Wednesday.”

“The show hasn't always provided cozy confines to Trump,” Kludt continued. “In December, Brzezinski told the GOP candidate that he was 'scaring' her with his calls to ban Muslims from entering the United States. And in that same interview, Scarborough cut to a commercial when Trump refused to stop talking.”

With that in mind, Scarborough stated that the program's relationship with Trump is “not support … and I would dare say that I am the only person who has hung up on Donald Trump on live television.”

“And the thing is we’ve been very critical of his approach toward Muslims, we said he went too far on John McCain (by claiming the senator was a “loser” since he was captured and tortured in Vietnam), we said he went too far on you name it,” said the host.

“Our job,” Scarborough stated, “is to be an analyst and say whether we support him or not, whether we’re gonna 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.”

“Still, Morning Joe is far friendlier territory for Trump than MSNBC's other more left-leaning shows,” Kludt added. “And it's true that Scarborough and company have been bullish on Trump's chances.”

When Trump opted to skip last month's GOP debate on Fox News, Scarborough said on Twitter that it was foolish to doubt the candidate.

"Anyone thinking Trump loses this game of chicken hasn't been paying attention for the past six months," he said.

And on another occasion, the Morning Joe panelists hailed Trump's manipulation of the media as if he was a “pope” or a “king.”

There's certainly no doubt that Trump has “a special relationship” with the people on MSNBC's Morning Joe, but will this help him win the Republican presidential nomination and even the White House? Only time will tell.