CNN is getting some licks in on Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the host of possibly the only watchable show on fellow bottom-dwelling "news" network, MSNBC.
A day after his resounding victory in New Hampshire, Donald Trump made a point to thank two of his "supporters" -- the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"You guys have been supporters," Trump told co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski at the end of an interview on Wednesday. "And I really appreciate it. And not necessarily supporters, but at least believers. You said there's some potential there."
In fairness, according to Mediaite, both Scarborough and Brzezinski ran like scalded dogs from the "supporters" comment:
Scarborough: I’ve heard advocacy from people before, or support. Donald said support. It’s not support.
Brzezinski: Somebody yelled at you for being in the tank.
Scarborough: Governor Sununu, in fact. And I would dare say that I’m the only person who had hung up on Donald Trump on live television. And we’ve been critical of his approach towards Muslims, we said he went too far on John McCain.
Brzezinski: I would haven’t used the word he used the other night.
Scarborough: Same thing there. But at the same time, our job, and Bob in part your job, is to be an analyst and say, whether we support him or not, whether we’re going to 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.
Whether Trump spoke out of school or was just trolling them, I have no way of knowing. But...
Trump also told the hosts "it was great" seeing them the previous evening. Scarborough and Brzezinski visited Trump's hotel room on Tuesday night while the New Hampshire primary results were rolling in, according to two sources with knowledge of their visit. Scarborough and Brzezinski did not respond to a request for comment.
After this article was published, Scarborough posted a series of tweets accusing CNN of lying about him. "Your sources are wrong," he wrote. Scarborough did not explicitly deny that he visited Trump's hotel room, however.
Trump has a unique relationship with "Morning Joe." 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.
Scarborough and Brzezinski also have a personal history with Trump that has been palpable in those interviews. Last month, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt even floated the possibility of Scarborough serving as Trump's running mate. Scarborough shot down the idea.
Visiting a candidate's hotel room while the votes were coming in does not seem like the kind of candidate-press relationship one would expect. It seems a lot more snuggly than that. Indeed, if you search Google for references of Trump appearing on or calling in on "Morning Joe" you get the feeling that he is a regular.
Regardless of whether there is a Trump-Scarborough ticket in the making, the coziness of Trump's relationship with the hosts of that show, if not improper by MSNBC's ethical standards -- assuming there is such a thing -- clearly leave the viewer with a great deal of doubt as to the extent that Trump is being "covered" as a candidate or simply allowed access to the show to build its ratings.