On Thursday, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough lost his cool when conservative commentator Bill Kristol correctly pointed out that Scarborough and his cohost of Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski had facilitated the rise of Donald Trump during the primary season.
Kristol prompted the confrontation when he asserted that Trump was a “failed, fluke presidential candidate … he won the nomination in a fluky way.”
Brzezinski snapped, “You people elected him and nominated him. That’s not a fluke.”
The two cohosts started laughing, prompting Kristol’s fury: “You feel great because the Republican Party nominated a guy who’s really a bad guy as president. You think it’s funny and amusing.”
Brzezinski condescended that Republicans “need to come clean on themselves, including leaders of the Republican party.”
Kristol fired back, “This show was really tough on Trump in late 2015, early 2016. Are you going to pretend that? If that’s you’re way of rewriting history, that’s on you guys.” As the two cohosts affected outrage, Kristol continued, “A lot of people accommodated Donald Trump at different times. But I’m not going to get into it.”
Scarborough patronized, “Please don’t come on my air and lie. I can’t even believe you’re doing this. I don’t know why you’re so bitter. You’re practically crying. You’re practically crying.”
Kristol acknowledged he was deeply upset. Scarborough protested that he had compared Trump to Adolf Hitler, prompting Kristol to snap back, “You treated him that way when he called in? Is that right? You treated him tough, you asked him those tough questions?”
Scarborough burst out, “While you’re attacking me personally, I said from the beginning I would never vote for him. I said I was voting for Jeb Bush, and I said I was voting for John Kasich. Then we said after the Muslim ban that this is what Germany looked like in 1933. … I’m sorry we were easy on him. If comparing him to Hitler in 1933 is going easy on him — that was three months before anyone voted — then we were easy on him then.”
“You treated him that way when he called in? Is that right? You treated him tough, you asked him those tough questions?”
Scarborough’s protestations notwithstanding, there is abundant evidence of how he and Brzezinski enabled Trump to rise. Examples include:
1. Leaked audio from a conversation that the two hosts had with Trump in February, in which there was this exchange:
BRZEZINSKI: No. You know what I thought was the—kind of WOW moment; was the guy you brought up on stage.
TRUMP: Yeah, that was great.
SCARBOROUGH: We played it several times this morning.
2. March 3: Brzezinski ripping Mitt Romney’s speech condemning Trump even before he gave it, bloviating, “You know what? If you don’t have something to offer, if you’re not going to jump in and get the fight, then what is it that you’re saying or doing at this point?” She added protectively, “This is the problem. You can’t get real now. You can’t start telling the truth now. And that’s what everybody’s doing.
Scarborough, after Romney actually gave the speech: “Dude, if you’re going to get into the pool, jump in. You’re standing at the side. Jump in or go and put the towel on and go back in[side].”
3. Scarborough on March 15, trumpeting that the GOP presidential race was over: “And let me say that at ten after the hour right here, Mika, the overwhelming odds are that Donald Trump’s going to win this thing outright.”
4. After Ted Cruz’s blowout victory in Wisconsin, Brzezinski mewling, “I think the establishment and the Stop Trump forces are shooting themselves in the foot because they’re so blindly focused their hatred on Trump to the point where they can’t see that what they’re going to get is Cruz.” Even more astonishingly, the two sycophants praised the statement Trump issued after his loss; Scarborough insisted, “Then there’s the statement last night, instead of a barrage of angry tweets at Fox News and all these other stuff, that’s what he has to do. That statement was tough and you know what? It was on message.”
5. Scarborough, who had been so eager to anoint Trump the GOP nominee on March 15, bleating, “Listen. Let’s be clear here, Ted Cruz will never be the nominee of the Republican Party.”
Video of the Kristol-Scarborough exchange below: