MSNBC Defends Joe Scarborough for Trump "Support," Mocks CNN Ratings
"CNN's media reporter, Dylan Byers, is implying that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski watched election returns with Donald Trump last night in New Hampshire. That is not true."
In the hangover of the New Hampshire primary, one of the most heated battles is between two unexpected parties: CNN and MSNBC.
After Donald Trump called into Wednesday's episode of Morning Joe, where the GOP primary winner acknowledged he saw hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski the night before, a CNN reporter implied that the trio "hung out." A Twitter spat between Scarborough CNN media reporter Dylan Byers ensued, and Wednesday afternoon MSNBC issued a statement.
"CNN's media reporter, Dylan Byers, is implying that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski watched election returns with Donald Trump last night in New Hampshire. That is not true," said a network spokesperson. "The Morning Joe hosts instead did what anchors are supposed to do — they interviewed the candidate's senior staff to get background information on their strategy in New Hampshire, and on their campaign's plans moving forward in South Carolina. The staff then invited the hosts to get Mr. Trump's reaction to the victory. That discussion lasted less than five minutes. Other networks were allowed interviews as well."
Nothing unusual there — though MSNBC did have another line, jabbing CNN's morning ratings. "It should be noted that Morning Joe is off to a great start in this election year," the statement continues. "In January, the show had 28 percent more viewers than CNN's morning show last month. And thus far in February, more people are watching Morning Joe than CNN."
On Tuesday night, MSNBC ranked third in New Hampshire coverage — behind No. 1 Fox News Channel and No. 2 CNN.
"It was great seeing you, and you guys have been supporters and I really appreciate it," Trump told Scarborough and Brzezinski during his call. "And not necessarily supporters, but at least believers. You said there's some potential there."