MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Tamron Hall, NFL's Tom Brady, Boxing Promoter Don King, Obama Advisor David Axelrod All Allegedly Very Friendly With Billionaire Businessman
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News and gossip website Gawker Friday afternoon posted a video they say apparently contains voicemail messages sent to Donald Trump, which were subsequently saved to the account's voicemail mailbox. The audio was sent anonymously, an apparent result of Trump's phone being hacked. After the article was published, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who for months has been accused of having an unprofessionally cozy relationship with Trump, seemingly confirmed that at least one of the voicemails is his.
I don't remember leaving any voice mails with him, but it certainly appears to be regarding a children's charity. https://t.co/BxcZCdSkQb— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 4, 2016
Oh my God. I just read the transcripts! Trump must have contributed to a children's charity. Scandalous!!! https://t.co/BxcZCdSkQb— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 4, 2016
We even got Trump to contribute $100,000 to David Axelrod's epilepsy charity when he worked at NBC. https://t.co/BxcZCdSkQb— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 4, 2016
Scarborough, a Republican who hosts the network's "Morning Joe" show, along with co-host Mika Brzezinski, is attempting to negate the obvious issue of whether or not he is capable of maintaining a personal friendship with, and a professional distance from, Trump. The GOP frontrunner is a man who has not been vetted at all by a fawning media, a new report from MediaMatters out this week notes.
Gawker carefully notes it was "unable to independently verify their authenticity," but says "the recordings certainly appear to be genuine."
Taken one by one, there is nothing especially salacious, untoward, or even unprofessional in the messages. In fact, they reveal an interesting look inside Trump's friendships.
Taken as a collection, however, they display the billionaire businessman's "cozy relationship with the liberal media," as Gawker puts it – a media that is supposed to be doing its job for the American people, of actually, objectively reporting on a central figure in the 2016 presidential race.
The voicemails, Gawker says, "indicate that Trump maintains friendly personal relations with members of the elite political press, even as he demonizes them. While Trump and some of his journalistic interrogators play oppositional roles on the public stage, the voicemails suggest that they are in fact favor-trading pals when the cameras are off."
Gawker, which notes that at least some of the messages appear to be from 2012, adds that "on the recordings, Hall, Scarborough, and Brzezinski are casual, chatty, even deferential to Trump. More than anything, they genuinely sound like his friends."
But Gawker also notes that as far as Tamron Hall is concerned, her "apparent friendship with Trump hasn’t stopped her from covering him critically and aggressively. It’s not clear that all of her colleagues can say the same thing."
Gawker's article is extensive, detailing many of the calls, then launching into another interesting point.
"Trump’s voicemails were apparently accessed almost by accident. This is particularly interesting given the fact that Trump has consistently blasted Hillary Clinton for her use of an insecure private email server during her time as Secretary of State."
"Unfortunately for Trump," Gawker continues, "it would seem that his voicemail isn’t much safer."
Trump, unsurprisingly, has threatened to sue.
“We don’t know whether or not this is authentic because this is a public phone, not a private phone," a spokesperson told Gawker in a statement. "As you know, it is illegal to break into phones. We will hold you and all other parties involved responsible.”
The journalism website and institute Poynter asks, "What’s worse — hacking into Donald Trump’s voicemail or using his discount for a Gucci dress?"
For now, until the authenticity of the other messages can be confirmed, NCRM will not post the audio, but you can listen at Gawker.