Joe Scarborough said that Monday’s media summit at Trump Tower “reads a lot harsher than it actually was in the room.”
The “Morning Joe” co-host said he talked to several participants from the press who attended the meeting between President-elect Donald Trump and heavyweights from the TV news industry.
“He wasn’t upset, he wasn’t yelling, he shook everybody’s hand, he introduced them, he talked to them calmly but then he said all of these really harsh things,” Scarborough said, citing what his sources in the room told him.
Scarborough was not at the meeting himself.
Trump’s spokeswoman called the meeting “unprecedented,” and the New York Post reported the president-elect tore into the leaders of the “dishonest” media. Trump specifically named CNN president Jeff Zucker in the off-the-record meeting, according to the Post, which described the atmosphere as like a “firing squad” by the real estate mogul turned reality TV host turned politician.
However, Scarborough said Trump made several side comments that made it clear Trump and Zucker have a friendship. CNN declined comment on the off-the-record meeting.
George Stephanopoulos, Martha Raddatz and Davis Muir represented ABC; Charlie Rose, John Dickerson, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King represented CBS; Jeff Zucker, Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett represented CNN; and Deborah Turness, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd and Phil Griffin represented NBC News/MSNBC, according to Bloomberg.
Fox News didn’t send any anchors, but executives Bill Shine, Jack Abernethy, Jay Wallace and Suzanne Scott were in attendance.
The meeting came less than a week after Trump ditched his press pool to take his family to dinner, which sparked outrage among journalists who typically sent a small pool to follow presidents and presidents-elect in any public setting. Trump’s team and the attendees made “real progress” when it comes to transparency, according to CNN, which cited a source in the room.
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