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‘Morning Joe’: Yes, I Have Been Tough On Donald Trump!

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‘Morning Joe’: Yes, I Have Been Tough On Donald Trump!


An amazing sight occurred Tuesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe when the show’s host, former congressman Joe Scarborough (R-FL), hit back at widespread accusations that he and his show had gone easy on Donald Trump and helped to facilitate the rise of a political demagogue.

Scarborough hosted freshman Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), who posted a note Sunday on Facebook declaring that he would never vote for Trump, and that he would look for a third candidate to vote for as “a conservative option, a Constitutionalist.” But over the course of the conversation about the search for a potential new candidate, the two ended up in a very combative conversation about the media.

“Joe, first of all, I think that we have to acknowledge the decline of the media is breathtaking,” Sasse said. “And what’s happened over the course of the last five or six months is a whole bunch of people have had a lot of fun playing with Donald Trump’s reality TV show about our kids’ future. And I don’t believe that, and I don’t think you really believe it. But I think here’s what we know comes next. If Donald Trump becomes the likely Republican nominee in 60 days, all of a sudden the media’s gonna grow up and take the guy apart into little pieces. Because he’s not a serious adult — he’s not somebody who celebrates America. So that’s what I’m saying.”

“You weren’t referencing us, I’m sure there,” Scarborough said, “when you said media was having fun with Donald Trump, right?

“I’m saying across the media you have a whole bunch of people —” answered Sasse.

Scarborough interrupted: “Because I can tell you tell you on Dec. the 8th —  and I looked this up yesterday — I asked the question, ‘Is this what Nazi Germany looked like in 1933?’ That’s not what playing with Donald Trump looks like. We’ve been very tough — all along.” (Note: Based on the date, this would likely have been in response to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims from entering the United States.)

“Sometimes you have,” Sasse shot back. “But can I ask you a serious question: Have you guys ever pursued it to make him distinguish between why his presidency would be different than Dictator X, Y, or Z’s? Because everywhere he goes he plays these little race-baiting games, and he plays games with praising Putin. He says that Kim Jong Un should be respected. He says that the Chinese who smashed freedom fighters in Tiananmen Square in 1990 are proud.”

“I’m actually very glad you asked that question,” Joe shot back. “Because when he was on after saying positive things about Vladimir Putin, I asked him, ‘What exactly do you find attractive about Vladimir Putin?’ And he started talking about him being a strong man. And I said, ‘You do know , he assassinates journalists? And you do know, he assassinates political opponents. Do you find that attractive?'”

“And what did he say?”

“There was a back-and-forth there, and he spoke in generalities. And then I followed up with the question again, ‘You do understand, he assassinates journalists?’ So yeah, We’ve kind of been there. Ask me something else — not that this should be about us. But I think—”

Co-host Mike Brzezinski added in: “I just don’t think you should put us in the with the rest of the media.”

“I couldn’t hear you, Mika,” Sasse said — which could be true, as Joe was also trying to speak, making the two difficult to distinguish.

Joe continued, saying that the real fault for this situation lies with the Republican Party itself: “I think the bigger problem here is, Senator, that a lot of people want to blame the media for what a lot of frustrated people in your party — and my party — have been doing for the past six to nine months.”

“Well first of all, let’s back up, and let’s give Donald Trump credit for this,” Sasse said. “Absolutely, he can recognize an organization that’s susceptible to hostile takeover. Because the Republican Party has been vacuous for a really long time.”

“Yes, it has,” Joe said.

“The core principles of the Republican Party have not been clear,” Sasse explained. “So I have lots of problems with the media, over the last six to nine months. But I’ve got far bigger problems with the Republican Party over the six to nine years.”

“As do I.”

“And so ultimately, Donald Trump has seized upon a vacuous, falling-apart organization. But when the American people are mad — and they’re right to be mad, they’re right to want to scream ‘No’ to Washington — they’re also gonna want to be for something. And they deserve better than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and I think ultimately there will be more choices.”

The discussion calmed down with Scarborough saying: “Right. Again, I agree with you. I wrote a book in 2004 saying that the Republican Party was spending too much money, and they were too reckless in foreign policy, and they were gonna lose their majority. So been there, done that. I guess the question is, how do you get there from here?”

“So let’s admit that there are nine months between now and the election, and the world is gonna change lots and lots of times between now and then,” Sasse answered. “I hope it happens over the course of the next 30 to 60 days — that the Republican Party again becomes the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of limited government and great human potential. I want to celebrate what’s great about America in the Republican Party. But if the Republican Party becomes the party of David Duke, Donald Trump — I’m out. And I think lots and lots and lots of people are out. And so ultimately, there will be more choices than these two, if Donald Trump is the nominee.”



  1. tranz2deep March 1, 2016

    Joe, the party of Lincoln is *not* the party of limited government. Lincoln was about a strong Union–including federal authority.

  2. greenlantern1 March 2, 2016

    President Lincoln bolted, from the Republican party, to form the UNION party!
    He chose Andrew Johnson to be his VP!
    The RADICAL REPUBLICANS, their designation, impeached Lincoln’s VP!

  3. Jinmichigan March 2, 2016

    Scarborough’s idea of tough questions is interesting. Nothing direct. Mainly softball stuff. And Mika “the mute”, has never asked a tough question of anyone in her career.

    1. stcroixcarp March 2, 2016

      She is the leg person.

  4. Eileen Whelan March 2, 2016

    The clowns of the week, Trump, Christy, Scarbough, O’Reilly,
    What has happened to our Country, are we really going crazy.

    1. Cloudherder March 6, 2016


  5. opinioned1 March 2, 2016

    Joe you must be one dumb tone deaf republican slug. For the past 6 months or more you have walked on egg shells trying your best to not offend this racist bigoted pig Trump and now you have the balls to claim I`ve been tough on Trump? W~T~F world do you think rational thinking people live in? No we don`t love the uneducated because they become idiot clones like you who love to tell us a friggin lie to our face and expect us to believe you. At one time I enjoyed watching each morning, but when you became the cheerleader for this gd moron I couldn`t stand your partisan bullsh** any more and tuned you out. You belong on Fox where lies can be spun to truth.

  6. cthetruth March 3, 2016

    Joe you may have asked the questions, but you never received any clear answers from Trump. You allow him to keep double talking you and never pin him down for a definitive answer. I also used to love watching your show, but not anymore. You are a disappointment and Mika has become almost a mute. Ratings got to you did they!

  7. plc97477 March 6, 2016

    What happened to the media in this country? The race for ratings coupled with the real possibility of being fired for stepping on the wrong toes (see Dan Rather).

  8. Bee Nice March 6, 2016

    IMO, MSNBC is not much different than Fox or CNN. They realize the advertising money comes from right wing led and owned companies (of which most media belong) that want Republicans in power so they can make even more money and do not have to follow any regulations so they can sell unregulated products and harm the public without any responsibility. So they purposefully either fire or move to non-consequential spots Democratic hosts and replace them with more of the Republican hosts (that incidentally have no trouble asking Democrats pointed questions and ride them if they do not answer in enough specifics). Look how MSNBC has been bending over backwards to keep from vetting Sanders, while they talk for days about emails and the FBI and pontificate on all the possible dire outcomes for Hillary. There is nothing behind this story. It is another “Benghazi” scream that has nothing to back it up. But they keep the drum roll pounding. They are dishonest to a fault. None of this should be a surprise to any Democrat who watched and enjoyed the honesty with the Democratic hosts in the past and have watched that change in the last couple years to just a Fox-lite Republican lie fest. Hail the almighty dollar! Hail the almighty ratings!

    1. 11thStPopulist March 6, 2016

      Explains why the MSM will not discuss Trump’s mob connections. He has a long history of using Genovese and Gambino crime family businesses exclusively, with no bid contracts for the concrete to build Trump Tower. Philly crime bosses Salvatore Testa and Nicodemo Scarfo made Trump “an offer he couldn’t refuse” to buy the real estate for Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza for 2x the market value.

      More recently, in 2010, good buddy and convicted racketeer Felix Sater, who Trump now says he “disavows” created stock-fraud schemes for 4 of Trump’s failed projects where investors were bilked out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Trump University and Trump Mortgage schemes were just the tip of the iceberg. This truly is the “Teflon Don.”


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