MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski claimed on their Morning Joe show and in a Washington Post column that they were repeatedly warned by senior White House officials that unless they apologized to President Trump for their critical coverage of his administration, there would be a negative article about the both of them in the National Enquirer.
Joe Scarborough addressed the issue further on the show, saying, “The president is friends with the guy that runs that National Enquirer,” Scarborough said. “And they said, ‘If you call the president up, and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike this story.’
I had, I will just say, three people at the very top of the administration calling me, and the response was like, are you kidding me? I don’t know what they have, run a story.”
The President respond to these allegations via Twitter;
Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2017
Within minutes, Scarborough responded that he had proof.
Yet another lie. I have texts from your top aides and phone records. Also, those records show I haven't spoken with you in many months. https://t.co/TZWiElo6Gs
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) June 30, 2017
So now the question becomes whether the proof would be sufficient to charge anyone in Trump’s administration with extortion. For their part, the National Enquirer denies that their owner and Trump’s close friend David Pecker has anything to do with the editorial process.