On Friday, speaking on his eponymous MSNBC show “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough derisively referred to Donald Trump Jr. as “Fredo,” referring to Fredo Corleone from “The Godfather,” the weakest and least-intelligent son of Vito Corleone, the Godfather.
As Newsbusters noted, after Scarborough’s second use of “Fredo,” Scaborough’s co-host and wife Mika Brzezinski chided her husband, saying “You mean Don Jr.” Scarborough dismissed her, carping, “Okay, Don Jr., same thing.”
The transcript of the conversation went like this:
Scarborough: If you don’t understand Donald Trump’s foreign policy, then follow the money. And, no, not the political money. Follow the personal money. Russia: that’s all about Donald Trump and the bottom line. His sons, Eric and Fredo said, that they got all of their money, or most of their money, the majority of their money — I think it was Fredo who said they get the majority of their money —“
Brzezinski: You mean Don Jr.
Scarborough: Okay, Don Jr., same thing.
Ever since President Trump was elected, Scarborough has been on a mission to distance himself from the man whom he assiduously helped to gain the GOP presidential nomination. In July 2017, Scarborough portentously announced that he was leaving the GOP because of Trump, saying, “Republicans didn’t come out and say, ‘I can never vote for Donald Trump because he’s a racist; time and time again they turned the other way … I’m gonna become an independent.”
In November 2017, Scarborough, aided by Brzezinski, alleged Trump suffered from dementia. Brzezinski stated, “Only those completely under his spell can deny what growing numbers of Americans have long suspected: The President of the United States is profoundly unstable. He is mad. He is by any honest layman’s definition mentally unwell.” After Scarborough cited people “close to” Trump who said he was mentally unfit, Scarborough added, “When are we supposed to say this? After the first nuclear missile goes? Is that when it’s proper to bring this up in polite society?”
In September 2018, Scarborough tweeted, “Trump is damaging the dream of America more than any terrorist attack ever could.” He wrote, “The question for voters this fall is whether their country will move beyond this troubled chapter in history or whether they will continue supporting a politician who has done more damage to the dream of America than any foreign adversary ever could.”
As recently as two weeks ago, Scarborough limned Trump as a racist, stating:
So, this is just a big old fat softball coming down the middle of the plate to you, to say, if we know they’re lying, if we know they’re bending the truth and the stats show that they’re lying, this is really about nothing more — it ain’t a dog whistle, it is a racist P.A. announcement that all of Trump supporters in America can listen to. “I know the facts aren’t on our side, I know we’re not going to win in the courts,” but let me just tell you, “I’m trying to keep brown people, or as I said on Twitter last week, people from Latin America, out of the United States,” because when I say, as Donald Trump, when I say “Let’s Make America Great Again,” I’m really just saying, as Donald Trump, your president, “Let’s keep America white.”
But Scarborough’s support for Trump during the 2016 presidential primaries was so well-known that CNN reported in February 2016 that even the brass at MSNBC were concerned about Scarborough’s closeness to Trump. CNN wrote:
… at NBCUniversal’s headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Center, Scarborough’s relationship with the Republican presidential frontrunner has become a subject of frustration among staff, and an increasingly problematic issue for the network’s top brass. In background discussions, NBC News and MSNBC journalists, reporters and staffers said there was widespread discomfort at the network over Scarborough’s friendship with Trump and his increasingly favorable coverage of the candidate. “People don’t like that Joe is promoting Trump,” one MSNBC insider said. Others described Scarborough’s admiration for Trump as “over the top” and “unseemly.”
Video of Scarborough and “Fredo” remark below: