Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough recounted a conversation he had with President-elect Donald Trump on his cabinet picks amid reports that he is advising Trump. On November 19, The New York Times reported that Trump “still maintains the routine that sustained him during the campaign,” which includes “often seek[ing] out” advice from Scarborough. CNN media reporter Brian Stelter referenced the Times report on the November 20 edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources, stating that Scarborough “has been giving Trump advice.” Scarborough has not yet addressed these reports, which could call into question Morning Joe’s Trump coverage and present an ethical dilemma for MSNBC. Scarborough and his co-host Mika Brzezinski have repeatedly defended and praised the president-elect since a September meeting they held with the then-candidate to “rekindle” relations with him. From the November 28 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
JOE SCARBOROUGH (HOST): Not only is [Mitt] Romney not going to apologize, Mike Barnicle, [Donald] Trump doesn't want him to apologize. I mean, listen, what Trump told me -- and I've reported this on the air before -- what Donald Trump told me was, “hey” -- because when the name first came up, I said, “you comfortable with the guy? He was tough on you.” Donald Trump said, “Hey, I beat him up for five years. I was rough on him too. I like the fact that the guy pushes back.” And Romney, for his part, says look at Nikki Haley, look at all selections this guy's making. It's showing that he's much bigger than his critics have said and Romney said the fact he's even talking to me shows that he's ripping a page from team of rivals and Lincoln and also from Ronald Reagan with James Baker. This happens in politics all the time.