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Joe Scarborough and his co-anchor/fiancée Mika Brzezinski spend most of their mornings criticizing their ex-friend Donald Trump and suggesting that he’s mentally unfit for office. But they also think the media writ large is against him.
“The entire mainstream media, we are reflexively anti-Trump on all things,” Scarborough said on an episode of Katie Couric’s podcast that was previewed by The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re over our skis and it’s going to hurt us,” Brzezinski said.
Scarborough denied that MSNBC’s Morning Joe gave then-candidate Trump “a comfortable place to stay” when he called in to the show for interviews. “We made the offer to everybody,” he said.
“We asked Hillary to be on so many times,” Brzezinski said. “The only way we could get her on is if we agreed to an 18-minute interview. We had to get into a tiny little prop plane and fly to South Carolina and land in a dirt field and wait for her in the back of a school for our 18 minutes. Then it was very, very, very planned. And they cut us off.”
The conversation veered toward the relationship between the couple and Trump, which included Brzezinski recommending the hiring of now-deputy national security adviser Dina Powell during the transition. “I’m not sure I would recommend they hire somebody, to be perfectly honest,” Couric said. “I just introduced them,” Brzezinski replied.
Scarborough said that his family and friends have stood by Trump even as the president’s administration has faltered at times over the past year. “Even people I’ve known and loved my entire life still support Trump, and I talk to them, I don’t understand it,” he said.
During a segment on the podcast about candidate Trump’s chances, Scarborough mentioned Mark Halperin, a former friend of the show who was felled by sexual harassment allegations. “I don’t know if I’m allowed to say Mark Halperin’s name,” he said. “Yeah, you are,” Brzezinski replied. Scarborough, talking about Marco Rubio, continued: “But Mark Halperin and I would look at each other and would be like, ‘What state’s he going to win?’ And Halperin would go, ‘He’s not going to win a state.'”
Couric and Brzezinski also talked about the #MeToo movement and efforts to combat sexual harassment, an issue that’s personal for both. Couric’s former Today co-host Matt Lauer was fired for inappropriate sexual conduct, and NBC has since mandated anti-harassment training.
“I think there haven’t been strict guidelines, or at least communicated guidelines, to employees at these media organizations for decades,” Couric said. “At least as long as I’ve worked in television. I don’t think there were any clear sort of — a code of conduct, for example. There was never a system in place where if you were an aggrieved person, or felt you had been wronged, there was a place you could go and an HR department would actually listen to you and not protect the powerful and the dynamic.”
Couric’s podcast, which launched in 2016, is shifting from a biweekly to a weekly format. Upcoming guests include New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, tech reporter Kara Swisher, comedian Amy Schumer and actress Laverne Cox.
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