It took a while, but Donald Trump has finally gotten hit by a story that is actually eliciting some sympathetic responses from the media — unfortunately, the story in question is an allegation of spousal rape, published Monday evening on The Daily Beast.
The story’s main reporter, Tim Mak, appeared Wednesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss his piece, and the initial reactions by Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen — who threatened a lawsuit against Mak, and also falsely claimed that spousal rape is not even a crime at all.
Joe Scarborough, along with Mika Brzezinski and Mike Barnicle, focused their skepticism on Mak himself, and whether it was even appropriate to dredge Ivana Trump’s allegation into the limelight after over 20 years, calling the coverage “ugly.”
Scarborough brought Mak’s appearance to a close by diminishing his reporting entirely: “All right Tim, we’re going to get you back on another topic. I think it’s just better for all of us right now to thank you for coming, and slowly step away from this segment.”
“Boy,” Scarborough said, “he walked right into a buzzsaw.”
Scarborough then cited Mak’s story as an example of why successful people, who have lived “colorful lives,” don’t run for office. He pointed to Donald and Ivana Trump’s post-divorce reconciliation to argue the story’s irrelevance, and speculated that Trump’s high poll numbers may be an indication that voters have grown sick of such sensationalistic coverage.
This was enough for The Donald himself to chime in with characteristic grace, in a tweet of thanks to Scarborough:
Thank you @Morning_Joe for throwing the pathetic reporter from the failing and money losing Daily Beast off the air. Really cool!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2015
Trump is also getting some sympathy from an interesting source: one of his rival Republican candidates. Ohio governor John Kasich was also asked about the story Tuesday night on CNN — and he said such allegations simply shouldn’t be part of the political process. “Just leave him alone,” Kasich said.
“Maybe the nature of the beast ought to change a little bit. […] There are limits here,” Kasich said. “I don’t want to comment, or maybe somebody else will comment on it. I’m not gonna do it, because I’m sure that it is extremely painful for him, for his former wife, for his kids, and, you know, that shouldn’t be what we’re doing in this business.”
It’s an interesting argument — coming from a man who previously voted to impeach Bill Clinton for a sex scandal.
Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, United States, July 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Jim Young)