The bromance is finally over.
On Friday afternoon, seemingly without warning, Donald Trump and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough instantly transformed from buddies to spurned lovers on Twitter, the orange-hued demagogue’s favorite outlet for trantrum-throwing.
“Joe Scarborough initially endorsed Jeb Bush and Jeb crashed, then John Kasich and that didn’t work,” Trump wrote. “Not much power or insight!”
He added moments later: “I hear @JoeNBC of rapidly fading @Morning_Joe is pushing hard for a third party candidate to run. This will guarantee a Crooked Hillary win.”
Scarborough shot back several minutes thereafter: “You heard wrong, cowboy. We talk about scenarios,” he said, seemingly referring to a Friday morning Morning Joe segment hypothesizing about third-party candidacies to challenge Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Ever the cable news host, however, Scarborough seemed to take the most issue not with Trump’s assertion that his insight is lacking, but rather that his show is on the decline. “Never fear. MJ is going to beat CNN for the 7th straight year!” he boasted, punctuating the response with a flushed-face emoji. “‘Rapidly fading?’ Umm...we are enjoying our best ratings ever. Lots of luck, fella,” he wrote in another tweet.
“Define ‘rapidly fading,’ Donnie boy,” he challenged in another tweet. Donnie Boy has yet to define the phrase.
The genesis of this feud likely stems from a Morning Joe segment in which Scarborough lauded Paul Ryan’s “perfect” power move in suggesting he’s “not ready” to support presumptive nominee Trump until he can prove he will unite the Republican Party. If that seems like a mild-to-nonexistent criticism of Trump, you'd be correct—in the very same segment, Joe declared: “Trump doesn’t need Paul Ryan.”
Scarborough has long battled allegations that he and his morning political gabfest are too friendly with Trump. The former congressman-turned-pundit has dismissed the criticism as a CNN-concocted non-troversy and fumed on-air about such charges.
After Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski hosted a town hall with Trump largely panned for its softball questions, Joe ranted: “[I] get a sense from people that if you don’t stand on top of him with your knees on his chest and stab him in the side of the neck until he bleeds out it’s never going to be enough.”
Despite his repeated protests, Scarborough can’t seem to shake the connection to his self-described “friend.” Accusations of his snugness with the presumptive nominee pale in comparison, however, to those leveled at Fox News primetime star Sean Hannity.
Next up, Trump breaks up with the Hannitizer? Don’t hold your breath.