Two days after Joe Scarborough and Donald Trump maybe shot the shit for like five minutes inside Trump’s New Hampshire hotel room, CNN is reporting that staffers at Scarborough’s employer are getting just a wee bit uncomfortable about his apparent friendship with the human Pantone chart.
CNN media reporter Dylan Byers, who contributed to the hotel room story and had a subsequent spat with Scarborough on Twitter, writes today that multiple staffers and journalists at NBC noted the “widespread discomfort” among the ranks over the relationship. Scarborough, who hosts MSNBC’s Morning Joe alongside Mika Brzezinski, has called Trump a “masterful politician.” But he has also personally given the candidate political advice, according to comments Scarborough made at an event last year, which Byers dug up for the story. “The higher-ups are definitely aware about what’s going on. It’s an issue,” one MSNBC staffer told CNN.
In the earlier story, CNN reported that Scarborough and Brzezinski had visited Trump in his hotel room on the night of the New Hampshire primary. The implication was that this was a little too chummy to be appropriate for a pair of political commentators and a presidential candidate they cover. But NBC shot back with a surly statement about how the co-hosts were doing “what anchors are supposed to do”—that is, interviewing the candidate.
Still, Scarborough is evidently aware that the relationship may at least have the appearance of impropriety. Trump previously thanked Scarborough and Brzezinski for being “supporters” of his campaign during a televised phone call, and Scarborough promptly backed way up from it. From CNN:
After Trump hung up, Scarborough sought to clarify the matter further: “Donald said support. It’s not support ... and I would dare say that I am the only person who has hung up on Donald Trump on live television. And the thing is we’ve been very critical of his approach toward Muslims, we said he went too far on John McCain, we said he went too far on you name it,” he said.
But if his tweets from yesterday are any indication, he’s not that concerned about it:
@DylanByers Troll CNN reporters. I understand you guys resent that we double your audience every day, but enough of the lying.— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) February 10, 2016