From the New York DAILY NEWS:
President Trump’s crusade against the hosts of “Morning Joe” turned even darker Friday after the MSNBC stars accused the commander-in-chief of blackmailing them.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski said White House staffers — senior adviser Jared Kushner was reportedly among them — warned that the National Enquirer was preparing a damaging story about the co-hosts’ off-air relationship.
The only way to stop the article was to personally apologize to Trump for harsh comments about him on “Morning Joe.”
“We ignored their desperate pleas,” Scarborough and Brzezinski wrote.
The revelation came in response to a pair of tweets by Trump in Thursday in which he attacked the cable news anchors.
The ugly words were preceded by threats they’d be humiliated by the Enquirer if they didn’t back off of their criticisms of the President.
The couple found out the supermarket tab was working on a story about their then-secret relationship in April.
That month, Scarborough texted with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner about the story, and was told that he would need to personally apologize to the President in exchange for getting Enquirer owner — and Trump pal — David Pecker to kill the story, New York magazine reported.
White House officials acknowledged to the Daily Beast that Kushner and Scarborough had spoken and that Kushner “recommended he speak with the president,” but insisted it wasn’t a threat or an ultimatum.
President Trump, responding to Scarborough and Brzezinski’s roughly 30-minute segment, offered a different set of events.
“Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show,” Trump tweeted shortly before 9 a.m. Friday.
Scarborough fired back a pair of tweets in which he accused Trump of “(y)et another lie. I have texts from your top aides and phone records. Also, those records show I haven’t spoken with you in many months,” he wrote. “Why do you keep lying about things that are so easily disproven? What is wrong with you?”