- Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Top White House staffers threatened the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with a negative story in the National Enquirer unless the hosts begged President Donald Trump to stop it, the hosts charged Friday.
“This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked,” Scarborough and Brzezinski wrote. “We ignored their desperate pleas.”
Trump responded to the allegation in a tweet Friday morning.
“Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time,” Trump tweeted. “FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show.”
Scarborough quickly shot back.
“Yet another lie,” he tweeted in response to Trump. “I have texts from your top aides and phone records. Also, those records show I haven’t spoken with you in many months.”
The National Enquirer responded to Brzezinski, Scarborough, and Trump in a statement Friday.
“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,” Dylan Howard, chief content officer for the publication, said in the statement. “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 Mika about our story, and absolutely no involvement in those discussions.”
Trump has had a contentious relationship with the MSNBC hosts. Before he ran for president, Trump was friendly with Brzezinski and Scarborough, and they were initially receptive to his candidacy. But they have since pivoted to criticizing him heavily on-air.
The feud escalated this week when he tweeted that Brzezinski once visited his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, while she was “bleeding from a face-lift.”
The hosts discussed the allegations on the show Friday morning:
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 30,2017