Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough (Credit: MSNBC)

Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough dump dirt on Donald Trump: He used the National Enquirer to blackmail us

Trump casually admitted to as much on Twitter, claiming that he can decide which stories get published in the paper

Matthew Rozsa
June 30, 2017 5:23PM (UTC)

It turns out that MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mike Brzezinski are more than willing to dish out dirt if President Donald Trump refuses to stop playing dirty.

"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,” Brzezinski and Scarborough wrote for The Washington Post on Friday. "We ignored their desperate pleas."


The two hosts elaborated on a morning edition of their show.

"They said if you call the president up and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike the story," Scarborough said before claiming that his response was to not fold to their pressure.

Brzezinski then went on to say that the National Enquirer contacted her children and friends, claiming that "they were pinning the story on my ex-husband, who would absolutely never do that, so I knew immediately it was a lie and that they had nothing."

She added, "And these calls persisted for some time, and then Joe had the conversations he had with the White House, where they said, 'Oh, this could go away.'"

Not surprisingly, this led to a Twitter war between Trump and the MSNBC hosts.

The National Enquirer has since released a statement saying that "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."


Gabriel Sherman from New York Magazine, however, claims that "according to three sources familiar with the private conversations," Trump became outraged at the negative coverage he had received from Scarborough and Brzezinski. "In mid-April, Scarborough texted with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner about the pending Enquirer story" about his relationship with Brzezinski, according to Sherman's report. "Kushner told Scarborough that he would need to personally apologize to Trump in exchange for getting Enquirer owner David Pecker to stop the story." When Scarborough refused, the story was published with the headline "Morning Joe Sleazy Cheating Scandal!"

An Enquirer spokesperson later admitted to CBS News that the tabloid did report the story.


This isn't the first time that journalists feuding with Trump have revealed unflattering stories about him. In November, Megyn Kelly described how prior to a presidential debate, Trump had "called me up and threatened me and made very clear to me that he was extremely displeased. I told him flat-out 'Mr Trump, I'm sorry that you are unhappy, but you don't control the editorial on the Kelly File.' And that was it: He started screaming at me; he hung-up the phone... and the next time we met was that Thursday night."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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