As has been often noted this election cycle, Donald Trump is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. Trump and WWE founder Vince McMahon have known each other since 1988, and worked together frequently. But in 2007, Trump and McMahon pretended to be bitter rivals, culminating in Trump shaving McMahon’s head on pay-per-view TV. This was all play-acting, or “work” as its known in professional wrestling. In real life, Trump and McMahon were friends, and the feud was mutually beneficial to both.
Early Thursday morning, Gawker received an anonymous email with an attachment that purported to contain recordings from Donald Trump’s voicemail inbox. Among the recordings were messages left for Trump by various celebrities—most notably, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Tamron Hall.
If you’re attending the very trendy youth-oriented music conference South by Southwest this month, you might consider stopping by to watch an up-and-coming alt-country musician named Joe Scarborough sling a few songs at the Moody Theater. Joe has written over 400 songs, composed a musical, and loves “Graham Parsons & The His Idols,” according to his own biography.
Joe Scarborough—former Republican Congressman, current co-host of Morning Joe, and erratic political columnist—has a complicated relationship with Donald Trump, who lifts the ratings of his morning MSNBC show but is also a bigot and maybe an actual fascist. Trump has even called Scarborough and his co-host Mika Brzezinski “supporters” and “believers” in his campaign—an understandable statement, given the free publicity Morning Joe has offered the Republican frontrunner. But now Scarborough, writing in The Washington Post, seems to have suddenly soured on Trump...over Trump’s predictable refusal to disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan:
The comedian and radio show host Harry Shearer has audio of what sure sounds like a casual off-the-air exchange between Donald Trump and Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. “You had me almost as a legendary figure,” Trump says at one point, apparently referring to a segment on that day’s show.
Below, we have a 10-minute segment from today’s Morning Joe in which co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski address the criticism that they are too friendly with Donald Trump to cover him objectively. To give you a sense of the tenor of the video, Mika shouts about pizza within the first three minutes, and Joe closes it by whispering like a comic book villain.
There are certain things Joe Scarborough—a man no one is interested in voting for for anything besides leaving the island—won’t tolerate. Allowing Megyn Kelly to take over his beloved Fox News network is one of them, and trust the man: He will literally—LITERALLY—self-immolate before allowing her to set the agenda.
Donald Trump’s most important purely political skill (that is, one not directly related to his abilities as an entertainer and performer) is his ability to intuit what the great angry mass of movement conservatives wish their gutless leaders would say, and then say it. Other Republicans dogwhistle. Trump dispenses with coded language and simply says: We should deport all the illegals. We should ban all Muslim immigration. And now, on Vladimir Putin: “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”
In a news conference yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Donald Trump “a bright and talented person” and “the absolute leader of the presidential race.” Trump loved this, obviously. Today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he declared, “When people call you brilliant it’s always good. Especially when the person heads up Russia.” Trump then proceeded to ham-handedly defend his new buddy Putin against accusations that he kills journalists.