Joe Scarborough Tells Colbert He’s Leaving the Republican Party – Vanity Fair

The contentious relationship between Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Donald Trump just reached a new twist: the former G.O.P. House member has announced that he plans to leave the Republican Party, citing its refusal to disavow Trump-point blank for the president’s bigoted behavior. Scarborough explained his rationale in detail to Stephen Colbert on Tuesday’s installment of The Late Show, in which he and Brzezinski appeared for a sit-down.

When the comedian asked why other Republicans haven’t changed their mind when it comes to supporting the president, Scarborough gave him an earful:

I think it’s inexplicable. But this is well before Donald Trump was elected president that my party has betrayed their core values. I remember back in December of 2015, when Donald Trump supported a Muslim ban, I said on the air, I said, “It’s very simple. It’s black and white.” I said “I can never vote for anybody in my party that said they were going to ban people because of the god they worshiped.” . . . It was disturbing through the entire campaign. In February, when [Trump] talked about David Duke and pretended that he didn’t know who David Duke was, and didn’t know what the Ku Klux Klan did. You didn’t have Republicans coming out saying, “I could never support Donald Trump because he’s racist.” They’d have a thousand other excuses why. But they always overlooked that. Judge [Gonzalo P.] Curiel, when [Trump] called a guy from Indiana, he attacked him, said he could never be fair because he’s Hispanic, Republicans didn’t come out and say “I could never vote for Donald Trump because he’s a racist.” Time and time and time again, they’ve turned the other way. And they’re doing the same thing now. And 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?”

And when Colbert countered, “But aren’t you a Republican?” That’s when Scarborough made clear his decision to leave the party: “I am a Republican,” he said, “but I’m not going to be a Republican anymore. I’ve got to become an Independent.”

The full segment will air on Tuesday’s Late Show; we will update this post accordingly.

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