MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough responded to criticism from Donald Trump by raising concerns about his emotional state, and accused him of trying to blackmail them in the tabloids.
“Somebody at the top of his campaign last summer said to me, ‘We’re all really worried about his emotional state,’” Scarborough said on MSNBC this morning. “The guy in the White House now is not the guy we knew two years ago. The guy that’s in the White House now is not even close.”
On Thursday, Trump called Scarborough “Psycho Joe” and labeled his co-host Brzezinski “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” on Twitter and said pair insisted that they hang out with him on New Years Eve, despite Brzezinski “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”
The pair published a carefully worded rebuttal of the president’s accusations in the Washington Post, and spent a great part of their show discussing the controversy.
“I’m worried … I think we have a much bigger problem on our hands,” Brzezinski said, talking about Trump’s emotional state, noting that she was “very worried, very disturbed.”
Scarborough repeatedly accused the president of having a “strange obsession” with Brzezinski, referring to Trump’s tweets about her face surgery.
Brzezinski denied ever wanting to go to Mar-a-lago on New Year’s Eve, insisting that Trump “kept calling Joe” and urging them to come, and repeatedly asking about her.
“For some reason he was more interested in Mika being there than me,” Scarborough said.
She admitted that she had the skin under her chin “tweaked” but that she was happy to talk about it.
“I’m pretty transparent about what I do, and I think it looks awesome,” Brzezinski said.
The Morning Joe roundtable mourned over current state of the country under Trump, lamenting that he was not presidential enough.
Brzezinski said Trump was “obsessed with women” appearing “more scathed” every time he was criticized by a woman.
In her op-ed, she accused Trump of having a “never-ending obsession with women’s blood.”
“This appears to be the man who can’t take the tiniest tweak from a woman on cable news,” she said during the show.
The newly-engaged pair accused Trump of using his influence at the National Enquirer tabloid to harass them and family members.
Scarborough said that White House officials called him, threatening to publish an embarrassing story in the National Enquirer about them until he called him.
“They said if you call the president up and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike the story,” Scarborough said.
“It’s blackmail,” he said.
Trump himself responded the controversy on Twitter.
“Watched low rated Morning Joe for first time in long time,” he wrote on Twitter, describing the pair as “FAKE NEWS.”
Trump indicated Scarborough was the one calling him trying to stop the National Enquirer article.
“He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no!” Trump continued. “Bad show.”
The National Enquirer denied Scarborough’s story, in a statement:
At the beginning of June, we accurately reported a story that recounted the relationship between Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the truth of which is not in dispute. At no time did we threaten either Joe or Mika or their children in connection with our reporting on the story. We have no knowledge of any discussions between the White House and Joe and Mik about our story, and absolutely no involvement in those discussions.
On the show, frequent contributor Harold Ford Jr. thanked the pair for having the courage to come on the show to discuss the controversy.
“I thank you for coming on this morning an answering and responding,” he said. “It’s a shame that you had to.”
“You’re telling me I missed a good Red Sox game last night at Fenway,” Scarborough replied.