The feud between Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough, and Mika Brzenzski with President Donald Trump heated up on Friday morning when Scarborough related a possible blackmail story involving The National Enquirer.
According to Scarborough, White House staff called him and said the National Enquirer had a story about Joe and Mika they were going to run and that President Trump would have them spike it if Joe called the President and apologized for their coverage of the president. Here is a video clip:
I reached out to Scarborough and asked him about it and here is what he told me:
“NBC execs knew in real time about the calls and who made them to me. That’s why Mark Kornblau wrote about contemporaneous texts. I showed him and executives as they were coming in to keep them advised.”
Joe is referring to this tweet from Kornblau:
— Mark Kornblau (@MarkKornblau) June 30, 2017
I spoke with Scarborough by phone as well. “The last time I talked with President Trump was after his address to Congress,” he said. “I spent five minutes in the Oval Office with him, and three other people were in the room with us. There was never a moment I was alone with him.”
The President tweeted the following this morning after the segment aired:
Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2017
Scarborough said the calls about the National Enquirer story started in late April and early May but that he never placed a call to President Trump. “I never called the President about this,” he said. “I challenge him to reveal any phone records showing that I called him. He can’t because I didn’t.”
It is a very serious charge. The accusation is the White House used the National Enquirer to threaten and blackmail two journalists. The administration will likely face questions about in their latest press briefing and how they respond will be telling.