In an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Friday, Scarborough and Brzezinski addressed their ongoing feud with Trump, arguing he’s not “mentally equipped” to watch their show. They also claimed White House staff members once warned them that the National Enquirer was considering publishing a negative story about them unless they “begged the president to have the story spiked.”
“We ignored their desperate pleas,” the two wrote.
Trump denied that in a tweet Friday, claiming Scarborough did call him to stop the alleged Enquirer article:
Scarborough responded by calling Trump’s tweet “another lie.”
An NBC News spokesman backed up Scarborough’s claims, telling CNN the morning show host kept several network executives in the loop about the alleged threats.
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported Friday that the editor-in-chief of the Enquirer, Dylan Howard, never spoke with David Pecker, owner of the paper and friend to Trump, about killing a story on Scarborough and Brzezinski.
The Enquirer’s website did prominently display a story Friday morning about the “Morning Joe” co-hosts.
Trump’s relationship with the Enquirer was described by The Washington Post as “very friendly” in March 2016. The tabloid published several stories about Trump’s Republican primary rivals ― including an unsubstantiated piece that claimed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was cheating on his wife ― while writing complimentary things about the business mogul.
The current back-and-forth gained attention Thursday when Trump lashed out at Scarborough and Brzezinski as “Morning Joe” was wrapping up the day’s show. He called the hosts “crazy” and “psycho” and claimed Brzezinski once “insisted on joining” him at his Mar-a-Lago resort while “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”
The National Enquirer weighed in on the conversation Friday morning in a statement:
This article has been updated with a statement from the National Enquirer.