MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” namesake Joe Scarborough was slammed on Tuesday for tweeting that “Trump is damaging the dream of America more than any terrorist attack ever could” in promoting a column he wrote one day before the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
Scarborough – who was one of then-candidate Trump’s strongest supporters in the media before changing his mind and turning on him – penned a column in the Washington Post headlined, “Trump is harming the dream of America more than any foreign adversary ever could.” The MSNBC host notes that America “dominated the world stage” prior to the tragic events of Sept. 11 and points out gaffes by George W. Bush and Barack Obama before attacking Trump.
“Sixteen years of strategic missteps have been followed by the maniacal moves of a man who has savaged America’s vital alliances, provided comfort to hostile foreign powers, attacked our intelligence and military communities, and lent a sympathetic ear to neo-Nazis and white supremacists across the globe,” Scarborough wrote. “For those of us still believing that Islamic extremists hate America because of the freedoms we guarantee to all people, the gravest threat Trump poses to our national security is the damage done daily to America’s image.”
Scarborough then cited a column by The New York Times’ Roger Cohen, who wrote “America is an idea. Strip freedom, human rights, democracy and the rule of law from what the United States represents to the world and America itself is gutted.”
“The question for voters this fall is whether their country will move beyond this troubled chapter in history or whether they will continue supporting a politician who has done more damage to the dream of America than any foreign adversary ever could.”
The MSNBC talking head concluded his column by writing, “The question for voters this fall is whether their country will move beyond this troubled chapter in history or whether they will continue supporting a politician who has done more damage to the dream of America than any foreign adversary ever could.”
Scarborough allowed Trump to call into “Morning joe” on a regular basis, hung around Mar-a-Lago and was even accused of conducting a softball town hall event with Trump in 2016 before the MSNBC anchor ditched the GOP and decided to back away from supporting his old friend. A Rolling Stone magazine article in February 2016 even referred to Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski as “Trump’s Lapdogs.”
Conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News that “shamelessly exploiting the death of 3,000 Americans in an attempt to do political damage to President Trump is a new low, even for Joe Scarborough.”
“Just when you think that there are lines of decency that won’t be crossed, Trump-deranged media people like Scarborough prove they will do anything and everything to try to take down the President."
“Just when you think that there are lines of decency that won’t be crossed, Trump-deranged media people like Scarborough prove they will do anything and everything to try to take down the president,” Barron said.
Donald Trump Jr. defended his father, telling the MSNBC anchor that he should apologize to the families who lost loved ones during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“Injecting politics today is disgraceful and only shows how irrelevant and deranged you’ve become,” Trump Jr. wrote.
Several prominent pundits took to Twitter, blasting Scarborough for the column. Author Ben Howe wrote, “What’s it like to know you spent years helping elevate someone that you now say is more dangerous than 9/11 terrorists, Joe?”
Daily Mail political editor David Martosko wrote, “It’s a good thing to keep an open mind, but not so much that your brains fall out. Reckless hyperbole like this, by the way, is one of the reasons Trump won in 2016.”
CRTV’s Steve Deace called Scarborough the "hackiest hack that ever hacked.”
“Joe, your column wasn’t just offensive to Trump supporters. It was offensive to the people who lost their lives on 9/11 and their families. There is nothing to compare to the tragic loss of life that occurred on this day 17 years ago,” Daily Caller media editor Amber Athey wrote.
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself for publishing such an atrocity,” one user responded.
Scarborough eventually tweeted a response after being faced with significant backlash after this piece was initially published.
“Many have been offended by a tweet I sent out earlier re: my @washingtonpost article. Even if they did not read the article, I should have shown more care on the tweet’s wording and the column’s conclusion,” Scarborough wrote. "The column was focused on 17 years of strategic missteps. The last paragraph became the sole focus of Trump supporters. On every other day of the year, I do not shy away from negative feedback from the right, the left or from Trump supporters… On September 11th, I’ll read the column again and think about whether I could have said the same thing in a way less offensive to Trump supporters on September 11th.”
MSNBC and NBC News did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.