Fire and fury: Mika Brzezinski kicks Michael Wolff off "Morning Joe" for smearing Nikki Haley

Via the Free Beacon, which notes that Joe and Mika received Wolff very warmly indeed last month to promote the book from which the Trump/Haley rumor sprang. I defy you to watch this clip and keep a straight face when she says, “You’re on the set of ‘Morning Joe,’ we don’t BS here.”

As is usually the case in this benighted social-media age, most of the best fireworks are happening on Twitter. Here’s Wolff after this morning’s purging:

In another tweet he continued to push the idiotic point that Haley has somehow incriminated herself by addressing the rumor of an affair after he hinted darkly about it on Bill Maher’s show but never mentioned her by name. If she’s not cheating with the president, how did she know I was talking about her, hmmmmm? Well, because all sorts of people followed the clue he gave about a passage towards the end of the book that suggested an affair and found the bit where he claimed that Trump and Haley were spending an unusual amount of time alone. What was Haley supposed to do with chatter suddenly proliferating online about her and POTUS doing the deed? Coyly ignore it and let gossipmongers wonder? For cripes sake.

In fairness, I don’t think it’s a total contradiction that “Morning Joe” embraced Wolff last month only to turn on him now. Last month, when “Fire and Fury” made its initial splash, the prime target was Trump himself, a man whom Joe and Mika now despise and who, let’s face it, is borderline libel-proof. No allegation about him is too thin for MSNBC; the more damaging it is, in fact, the thinner it can be. But within the last few weeks, thanks to his fatal attraction to innuendo, Wolff’s prime target has been Haley, a much more highly regarded person and politician. Maybe he didn’t want it to be that way. Maybe he goosed Bill Maher’s audience with a hint about an affair because he’s Michael Wolff and salacious dirt is what his fans expect from him. We are where we are, though, with right-wingers and liberal feminists briefly united in disgust at him for smearing one of the few younger women in Trump’s administration in a position of real authority. If you want to knock Mika for taking exception to his attack on Haley but not his attacks on Trump, I think it’s fair to say that she should have expected that he wouldn’t be discriminating in the sort of dirt he’s willing to peddle. But I don’t think it’s strange to react differently to an attack on Haley than to an attack on POTUS.

Pretty weird to see these media Trumphumpers-turned-assassins suddenly take the knives out for each other, though, huh? By all accounts, they followed more or less the same route to where they are now. Joe and Mika infamously promoted Trump during the GOP primaries (certainly the earlier stages) before deciding that, come to think of it, he was a terrible person *and* a terrible potential president. As late as New Year’s Eve 2016, two months after he’d won the election, they were swinging by Mar-a-Lago to exchange well wishes. Now they spend most of their airtime kicking around theories about whether he’s evil or just mentally ill. Wolff followed the same arc although he seems to have done so deliberately, to gain access, rather than naively. He kissed Trump’s ass a bit in print, phoned in some TV appearances about the injustice of media bias against the president, and before he knew it he was wandering the West Wing, gathering quotes for his forthcoming book. Both parties have profited from their Trump dalliance. Wolff was simply more methodical about it, it seems.

Can’t lie: Despite him being a sleaze, I’m psyched to read his now inevitable gossipy hit piece on “Morning Joe” in The New Yorker or wherever in a few months.