Joe Scarborough, the conservative voice on MSNBC’s political commentary show “Morning Joe,” which two weeks ago had a very public feud with President Donald Trump, is leaving the Republican Party.
“I am a Republican, but I’m not going to be a Republican anymore. I’ve got to become an independent,” said Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, on Tuesday night during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” He spoke alongside his co-host and fiancée, Mika Brzezinski, who drew the fury of the president in a series of attacks about her I.Q. and appearance on Twitter.
Scarborough questioned how the Republican Party stood by Trump, who as a candidate “pretended not to know” who Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was after he backed Trump’s candidacy. He also denounced Republicans for a lack of action when then-candidate Trump questioned the impartiality of a federal judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who was presiding over his Trump University fraud case. Trump called the judge a “hater” who was being unfair to him because he wanted to “build a wall” and said he was “Hispanic” and “Mexican.” Curiel was born in Indiana.
“Republicans didn’t come out and say, ‘I can never vote for Donald Trump because he’s a racist,’” Scarborough said. “Time and time and time again they turned the other way, and they are doing the same thing now. It’s actually disgusting, and you have to ask yourself what is exactly is the Republican Party willing to do? How far are they willing to go? How much of this country and our values are they willing to sell out?”
It’s a trend that has continued into the Trump presidency, Scarborough said, referring to the Russia investigation and the failure of ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to disclose meetings with Russian officials.
“If they didn’t collude, they certainly decided they were going to coordinate with an enemy foreign government that sees the United States of America as an enemy, and what have you heard from Republican leaders today? What have you heard from the Republican Party today?”
“Nothing. It’s always silence. That’s not a party that Ronald Regan could associate with, certainly not a party I can associate with,” Scarborough said.