Two cable news channels have been waging a war of words over what did or didn’t happen in Donald Trump’s hotel room as election returns were coming in Tuesday night.
TVNewser reports that the dustup between CNN and MSNBC followed a tweet Wednesday by CNN’s Dylan Byers in which he reported that MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough “hung out in Trump’s hotel room last night during primary returns, 2 sources tell me.”
“The CNN report followed an appearance on ‘Morning Joe’ by Trump, where he described the MSNBC hosts as ‘supporters,’ before walking that back,” TVNewser reports, quoting Trump on the show saying: “You guys have been supporters … and I really appreciate it. And not necessarily supporters, but at least believers. You said there’s some potential there.”
Scarborough reacted to the Byers tweet with a series of Twitter posts, writing: “I understand you guys resent that we double your audience every day, but enough of the lying. Did CNN hire you just to lie about Morning Joe? The obsession is unhealthy.”
Byers responded with a challenge, sending out a post saying: “Go on the record and say I’m wrong.”
The clash prompted a statement from MSNBC Wednesday afternoon in which the network said:
“CNN’s media reporter, Dylan Byers, is implying that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski watched election returns with Donald Trump last night in New Hampshire. That is not true.
“The ‘Morning Joe’ hosts instead did what anchors are supposed to do — they interviewed the candidate’s senior staff to get background information on their strategy in New Hampshire, and on their campaign’s plans moving forward in South Carolina. The staff then invited the hosts to get Mr. Trump’s reaction to the victory. That discussion lasted less than five minutes. Other networks were allowed interviews as well.”