Scarborough and his Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski discussed the public treatment of Trump, who’s facing an impeachment inquiry, and it led to the pair trending on social media on Monday. They described themselves as “sickened” by the display with Scarborough deeming it “un-American.” And while they talked extensively about how it is a page from Trump’s own playbook — “lock her up,” referring to Hillary Clinton, has been a rally cry at his events for three years — their criticism has many worked up.
Scarborough and Brzezinski have since addressed the backlash:
So let’s see if I’ve got this straight: When crowds chant “Lock her up” toward Hillary, it is illiberal and anti-American.
(I agree). But when crowds chant the same toward Trump,
it is suddenly a fulsome exercise of sacred First Amendment rights. What hypocritical clowns.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) October 28, 2019
If you think that democracy is strengthened by calling for the arrest of political opponents, you’re as ignorant and illiberal as Trump himself. Delete your account and read some civics.
Stop embarrassing yourself.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) October 28, 2019
For 3 Hours a day, we call out corrupt politicians. We call out Trump. If u want to make your voice heard, vote. I understand the chanting at the game-But, I worry it is dangerous when it happens-On both sides. It’s been a consistent concern on my part. Thank u for ur opinions!!
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) October 28, 2019
It began earlier in the day. “It was sort of startling and sad to hear those chants of ‘lock him up’ yesterday from the crowd,” Brzezinski said at the top of Morning Joe. “I didn’t take pleasure in that.”
Scarborough chimed in, “It really was. There were many traditions brought about by Donald Trump and his supporters and people around him that are un-American. Even fascist-like. The chants of ‘lock her up,’ ‘send her back.’ But the ‘lock her up’ about Hillary Clinton repeatedly, it has become a centerpiece, and that's what dictators do. They take over, and then they start talking about imprisoning others. So that's what unfortunately has been fed into America's political system through Donald Trump, and last night it was turned against him... I hope that Donald Trump, after seeing that he could be facing this throughout his entire campaign, will cut it out.”
However, Scarborough went on to scold the crowd.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) October 28, 2019
“It's un-American,” he continued. “And the people in the stands that were doing it last night shouldn't have done it... That's why everybody has to tone it down. Stop with the chants. Stop with the fascist-like tactics and the rhetoric. It's just un-American. And it's just not right.”
When Brzezinski said it was “sickening” to hear it at Trump’s rallies, Scarborough agreed.
“Of course it’s sickening,” he said. “We are Americans and we do not do that. We do not want the world hearing us chant, ‘lock him up,’ to this president, or to any president. That's what I'm saying.”
And while they weren’t defending the president — Brzezinski saying at one point “he created it” — the fact that Scarborough criticized the crowd had many up in arms. One person wrote, “Ah I see Joe and Mika have decided to hold a stadium full of baseball fans to a higher standard than the President of the United States.” Others pointed out that Trump is routinely on the attack — at rallies, on social media — yet “Joe and Mika are worried he was booed in public.” Alyssa Milano also criticized Scarborough saying he “missed the point.”
You’re missing the point Joe. We desperately *want* the world to know that we are not on the side of this President. That our views are still that of hope, honor and integrity. If we sat in silence, we would be complicit to his bigotry and lies. He is not us. He is not America. https://t.co/hlD7R1iL4g
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 28, 2019
Ah I see Joe and Mika have decided to hold a stadium full of baseball fans to a higher standard than the president of the United States.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) October 28, 2019
Trump supporters have been chanting "Lock her up!" for the past 3 years and just one night Trump gets the reciprocal "lock him up!" we have to hear Joe and Mika's sermon about how "un-American" that is. 😏#morningjoe
— franklin Brown (@franklin19788) October 28, 2019
Trump has attacked over half of the country, POC, members of Congress, military veterans, Gold Star families, the free press, SCOTUS justices, political opponents, entire states, his administration cages children - and Joe and Mika are worried he was booed in public.#TrumpBooed
— Tony Stark 2020 💥⎊ (@1IronMan2020) October 28, 2019
Sorry Joe and Mika, but what Trump has put us and our Country through for 3 years, the abuse, etc. We deserve to be happy a day because the Worst Person Ever got a frigging boo and chant. Boo Hoo! #MorningJoe
— Dickless (@tayl8kr) October 28, 2019
You couldn’t be more wrong. This is exactly what the world needs to see. Americans standing up to a corrupt, would be dictator who abandons our allies in need, bows to Russia and cages children. Knock off this BS. You both sound ridiculous.
— Michael Ⓜ️ (@michaelschweitz) October 28, 2019
Bye Joe and Mika. Referring the the booing and Lock Him Up chants as un-American. Why tamp down legitimate form of protest to they guy who started the chant? Lecture DJT and his ilk about being Un-American. He is a dictator in the making and you want politeness? #MorningJoe
— Charlene Deveraturda (@malasadasbooks) October 28, 2019
OMG Joe and Mika are tsk tsking the people that booed Trump last night and called it "UnAmerican." Eff all the way out of here. #MorningJoe
— Misty (@mialynneb) October 28, 2019
Speak for yourself Joe and Mika. It was glorious. #LockHimUp! And don’t call him president. Stop legitimizing him.
— Chris (@Chris_nDC) October 28, 2019
Joe and Mika, did you have the same outrage when Tea Partiers and future MAGATS said horrible things about President Obama and his family? Hung dolls of him in effigy? Did you defend Hillary Clinton like this? Trump deserves every boo, every chant EVER. How dare you?! #MorningJoe
— RACHEL MADDOW STAN ACCOUNT (@TVandSheetMasks) October 28, 2019
Joe and Mika,
Heard you're upset 45 was booed. you enabled his ass into office every day. Put a sock in it, the people will have their say
— Rachel🌊 (@BowiedipDe) October 28, 2019
Sorry Joe, but this is Karma on full display.
— Daily DT Diary (@Daily_DT_Diary) October 28, 2019
Joe and Mika are feigning outrage over the booing of the president and calls for him to be locked up. They are mistaken in their claim that this is no better than his rallies. I say this demonstration of disgust is totally American. It took place in public not in a pol. rally
— Fred F. Tondalo Jr. (@FTondalo) October 28, 2019
Watching the crowd boo trump last night warmed my heart and gave me hope. Very disappointed with Joe and Mika for their criticism of the booing. It is not unpatriotic to boo a wannabe dictator who is harming our country. #MorningJoe
— Jodie Martin (@Jodiek07) October 28, 2019
Have you seen the way he conducts himself on the world stage?
— Sideline_Observer (@Chris79699884) October 28, 2019
I would disgree wholly. I think the world DOES need to see how disgusted we are & Trump needs to see it. Dignity of the office is gone, rules have changed. He's a horrible human. Don't shame Americans for their response to his awfulness.
— Southside Banshee (@Mysu_Donim) October 28, 2019
I’m sorry —
But when you have a President who only speaks to controlled/pre-screened groups and only listens to one “news network,” he sometimes needs the opportunity to hear from everyday Americans when they actually have an opportunity to be heard by him.
— Adam VanHo 🇺🇸 (@adamvanho) October 28, 2019
And while there was clearly a lot of blowback over Scarborough’s comments, some people agreed with his general sentiment.
I couldn’t agree with you more. As the leader of the free world. As a country that is looked upon by other nations in peril. It is important to keep our integrity and decency. Even if the elected is disliked by millions, we shall still respect them and the election process.
— Zachary (@Dinkelmanz18) October 28, 2019
Thanks Joe, for the first time in ages you said something I can agree with!🇺🇸
— Sarah Verre (@Savycon63) October 28, 2019
Joe was taking the high road. It will be lost on Donald Trump. Trump is so delusional, though, he's probably already convinced himself that the crowd was actually saying "four more years."
— Home Planet Matters🌎☮️ Reclaim Sanity 2020🌊🌊🌊 (@ImagesHome) October 28, 2019
For once, I agree with you. There's a time and place for this, and it's called the voting booth. We are Americans first, and if folks don't get that, they have every opportunity to leave.
— Wade Yamamoto (@808wadey) October 28, 2019
Thank you Joe and Mika.
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) October 28, 2019
Before the fourth inning of Sunday’s game, Trump was greeted by the Nationals’ public address announcer and shown on the stadium’s video screen. The crowd responded by booing the president, who was accompanied by Melania Trump, and chanting “lock him up.” Later in the game, there was an “Impeach Trump” banner was hung by fans, which was confiscated.
Trump embraced the “lock her up” chant at his political rallies over the summer of 2016. (Here’s a history of it.) Now, as he faces an impeachment investigation, the cry has been repurposed for him. When Clinton appeared on Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this month, Trump’s Ukraine dealings came up and the audience began chanting “lock him up” after Colbert first said it.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle’s newsletter.