[UPDATED] Joe Scarborough in Vicious Feud with Young Reporter Over Whether He ‘Partied’ With Trump

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 10:31 pm, January 1, 2017
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UPDATED January 3: Scarborough and Sopan Deb continue to fight (see below)


MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough went on a fiery Twitter tirade Sunday afternoon, accusing an incoming writer for the New York Times of  being a lying “hack”, after the writer Tweeted that Scarborough and his Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski were “partying” with Donald Trump on New Years Eve.

The writer, Sopan Deb, who just left CBS News for the Times where he starts next week, sent the saucy Tweet Sunday afternoon. In it, he snarkily suggested that the co-hosts were longtime Trump supporters.

In his Tweet, Deb linked to a New York Times piece which stated that the Morning Joe hosts were “there” at Trump’s New Year’s Eve celebration at Mar a Lago, his Florida resort.  Deb then referred to a phone interview with Morning Joe last February when Trump said:  “You guys have been supporters, and I really appreciate it. And not necessarily supporters, but at least believers. You said there’s some potential there.”

Scarborough didn’t take to Deb’s Tweet at all — launching a volley of Tweeted rebuttals and insults at the young man.

“Partied? You’re very good at pushing fake news,” he fired back. “You should write for CNN. Apparently making up facts is fine if you’re writing about us.”

New NYT Writer Sopan Deb

Scarborough has reason to be sensitive about portrayals of his relationship with Trump. Early on in the campaign he and Brzezinski were accused to cozying up inappropriately to the candidate. But as the campaign progressed, the Morning Joe hosts crew increasingly hostile to Trump, who in turn insulted them repeatedly over Twitter. They’ve since appeared to mend fences.

On Sunday, Scarborough smacked down Deb for saying Trump had “thanked” him almost a year ago, pointing out that Trump thanked a lot of unlikely people.

“Last year, Trump publicly thanked [Obama consigliere] David Axelrod for his support,” Scarborough continued to refute Deb’s claim. “Stop being such a hack.”

“One of the more entertaining aspects of media coverage of media is how so many who blast Trump for half truths attack us with half truths,” he continued. “Last year I said Trump’s campaign was racist, xenophobic and disqualifying. But be snide while making facts up. Partied? Not even close.”

Not backing down, Deb challenged Scarborough to admit he was indeed at the New Year’s Eve event.

Scarborough said he and Mika were at Mar a Lago not to “party”, but to set up a future interview with the President Elect, saying he was only doing what any great journalist would do when it came to bagging an interview with a major newsmaker.

Young Deb then fired back:

That really annoyed Scarborough.

Scarborough, who was apparently not aware that Deb had left CBS for NYT, also accused him of lying on his Twitter bio.

Maggie Haberman, the Times journalist who penned the report to which her new colleague Deb linked, chimed in to say that the Morning Joe hosts were photographed at the event, but that they weren’t there all night.

Scarborough said that he was present in street clothes (while the event was black tie) and that the picture was taken in front of metal detectors, and added that Deb “lied about the facts.”

In response to all of Scarborough’s tweeting, Deb eventually backtracked on his “partied” claim to say that he should have been more accurate in his choice of words.

Scarborough wouldn’t even accept the new wording.

Suffice to say Sopan Deb will probably not be getting to burnish his blossoming career on Morning Joe any time soon.


January 3 Update

Scarborough called out an article on the Washington Post by Callum Borchers covering the controversy. He took particular issue with the accuracy and details of Sopan Deb’s tweets.

He tweeted: “Notably absent from your piece was the fact the tweet was false. He makes up a fact, adds a snide attack, and you blame me?”

“Do you have no shame?” He continued. “He lies, doubles down on that lie, won’t admit he was wrong…and you compare me to Trump? Now THAT is revealing. I am confident that if people had been lying about you on facts proven objectively false, you would push back as well.”

When another writer for the New York Times shared a photo of Scarborough at the event, the talk show host reiterated his previous point about how he had walked up the stairs to speak to Trump.

“Hopefully, a video will emerge from the grassy knoll,” he snarked.

Scarborough followed it up with admonishments for Maggie Haberman for describing him as an attendee of the party without phoning him up to confirm why he was there.

Sopan Deb redoubled his previous efforts to shame Scarborough with a remark about how the party might not have been the best place to ask for an interview.

Scarborough was having none of it, and wrote: “You get caught lying then double down and triple down. You know the truth and yet you just can’t stop sending out snide tweets. Wow.”

“Facts are stubborn things,” he wrote.


Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken game critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.

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