GOP launches attack on MSNBC’s Morning Joe

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The Republican National Committee is offering a blistering take on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” calling it “the worst case of Trump Derangement Syndrome” in a press release on Wednesday.

The attack was all the more notable given that the morning show, while airing on a liberal network, is helmed by former GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough (Fla.).

“Once a respected forum for intelligent discourse, the program has turned into 3 hours of far-left hysteria, filled with more faux scandal and innuendo than a bad episode of Gossip Girl,” RNC Deputy Communications Director Michael Reed wrote in a release to reporters. 

{mosads}“According to a rough review of this morning’s program, the crew spent the majority of the show discussing misspelled tweets, White House staffing plans, uncorroborated Russia stories, and the supposed horror of President Trump giving his cell phone number out.”

The RNC criticized the show for not devoting significant time to defending the president, pointing to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s comments that he saw “no direct evidence of political collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” former Central Intelligence Director James Woolsey’s defense of allegations that Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner sought to set up a back channel with Russia and Woolsey’s criticism of leaks undermining the White House. 

It concluded by criticizing the “Morning Joe” anchors for not asking Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken about his decision to host an event with comedian Kathy Griffin despite her controversial social media post holding a faux-severed head resembling Trump. 

Scarborough took a swipe at Trump in a brief response on Twitter.

“This is funny stuff. Interesting to see Trump still obsessed with our show. He should get a hobby or new job that keeps him focused,” he tweeted.

The MSNBC host in a subsequent tweet mocked Trump’s reported use of an alias to speak with reporters.

“Mr. Miller, in the future you can send your complaints directly to management,” Scarborough said. “No need to use the GOP as cover.”

“Morning Joe” has had a rocky relationship with the Republican Party during the 2016 election. Trump appeared on the show regularly in the early months of his presidential campaign, both calling into the network and appearing on it for special sit-down interviews. 

The hosts grew more critical of Trump during the general election, leading to Trump launching multiple attacks against the show on Twitter.

After the campaign, Scarborough and co-anchor Mika Brzezinski discussed on air speaking directly with the president. Brzezinski was also spotted heading into Trump Tower, the campaign’s de facto transition headquarters, last winter. 

But when Trump accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones, the anchors made it clear that they had soured on Trump.

Brzezinski called Trump’s presidency “fake and failed” while Scarborough called the accusation a “new low.””

Earlier this month, the pair accused White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who worked for a pro-Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) super PAC in the presidential primaries before joining Trump as campaign manager, of telling them during a private conversation that she was only with Trump for the money and felt dirty speaking for him. 

“She would get off the air, the camera would be turned off, the microphone would be taken off, and she would say ‘Blech, I need to take a shower,’ because she disliked her candidate so much,” Brzezinski said on air. 

Conway denied the accusations in a post on Twitter.  

–This report was updated at 1:01 p.m.

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