Joe Scarborough and Sean Hannity are trying to out-“repulsive” each other.
Early on Friday, the Morning Joe host marveled on MSNBC at how “stupid” Republicans who once viewed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as “enemy number one” but are now embracing him as a more reliable source than U.S. intelligence officials look.
Aside from President-Elect Donald Trump, no one better represents this phenomenon than Fox News’ Hannity, who once accused Assange of “waging war” against the U.S. and called for his arrest, but just this week traveled to London for a friendly sit-down with him at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
“Sean Hannity is—there’s a bromance there?” Scarborough remarked on Friday morning. “It’s repulsive!”
Apparently, Hannity caught wind of the criticism. A few hours after Scarborough made his comments, Hannity began laying into him on Twitter, latching onto the one word that seems to have gotten under his skin.
As a jumping off point, Hannity used a back-and-forth argument Scarborough was having with former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon about the leaking of classified documents. But that issue was not Hannity’s biggest concern. Instead, he went on a Trumpian Twitter rant about Scarborough’s ratings.
Hannity then pivoted to accuse Scarborough of trying to get hired by Fox News just as Fox’s Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren are moving the other way.
Hannity went on to accuse Scarborough of “lying” about his attendance at Trump’s New Year’s Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Despite the fact that he was photographed schmoozing with Trump poolside, Scarborough said on his show that he and co-host Mika Brzezinski were only there for a meeting with the president-elect about a future interview.
Labeling Scarborough “Repulsive Joe” in the same way Trump coined “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary,” Hannity then began openly questioning the MSNBC host’s conservatism.
And finally, he dug all the way back to 2010 to make fun of Scarborough for having his syndicated radio show canceled.
So far, at least, Scarborough has resisted the urge to take Hannity’s bait on Twitter.
More than anything, the fiery feud between to two cable news stalwarts demonstrates how each man plans to position himself as the Trump presidency begins later this month. Hannity was staunchly loyal to Trump throughout his presidential run, even defying his network’s standards by appearing in an official campaign ad. Scarborough, on the other hand, has careened back and forth between declaring himself #NeverTrump and gloating over his accurate predictions that Trump could win.