One night earlier, Sopan Deb, a CBS News reporter who will soon move to The New York Times, tweeted that Scarborough and his "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski had "partied with Trump" on New Year's Eve, linking to a Times report noting their attendance at the party. On Monday, Maggie Haberman, the author of that report, tweeted a photograph showing the co-hosts talking to a tuxedoed Trump before the party.
To many political journalists, Scarborough and Brzezinski's presence at Mar-A-Lago confirmed their suspicions: The co-hosts were far too cozy with Trump, trading favorable coverage for access.
Scarborough had made no secret of his long friendship with Trump, or even that he occasionally gave him political advice, and now critics say he and Brzezinski were enjoying the perks of that friendship.
Scarborough sees what he does differently: For generations, he says, journalists from Ben Bradlee to Andrea Mitchell have had friendships and social relationships with the politicians they cover, and many political reporters have drinks, dinners and other off-the-record meetings with politicians and political operatives. The only reason Scarborough has been targeted, he says, is because the politician in this case was Donald Trump.
I apologize to all I held hostage on my twitter feed over the last 24 hours.— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) January 3, 2017
Now on with the countdown....
"The only difference is that Donald Trump is now the person calling us up," he told CNNMoney.
In an effort to set the record straight, Scarborough agreed to an interview with CNNMoney on the condition that it be recorded, transcribed and published in full. Click Here to read now