NEW YORK, July 11, 2017 — Trump critic and co-anchor of the Morning Joe announced that he is leaving the Republican Party. Joe Scarborough appeared on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert, where he announced his decision. “I’m not going to be a Republican anymore,” Scarborough said. “I’ve got to become an independent.”
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) July 11, 2017
Scarborough and his co-host Mika Brzezinski have come under fire from President Trump and his staff for their strong criticism of his conduct in the White House. Both were close friends with Trump before he took office in January. Trump’s latest tirade happened a few weeks ago when Brzezinski questioned Trump’s mental competency. Trump responded with a tweet about “Psycho Joe” and “low-I.Q. Crazy Mika.” Trump also claimed that Brzezinski “was bleeding badly from a facelift” when she visited Mar-a-Lago last year.
Scarborough and Brzezinski co-authored a piece in the Washington Post where they called Trump’s comments offensive and admitted they had seen a change in Trump’s behavior.
Scarborough’s distaste for the Republican Party had been growing long before Trump became president. Throughout the 2016 election cycle, Scarborough was called the most influential Republican in America for being among the first to predict Trump’s rise and later rebuke him. In explaining his decision Scarborough said:
“Time and time and time again they turn the other way, and they are doing the same thing now. It’s actually disgusting and you have to ask yourself, what exactly is the Republican Party willing to do? How far are they willing to go? How much of this country and our values are they willing to sell out? I am not a Republican anymore. I’ve got to become an independent.”
Scarborough was previously a U.S. representative, elected in 1994 from Florida’s First District. He served three terms but resigned in 2001. He said it was disgusting that the Republican Party can continue to defend Trump and his actions.