Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski: We're not Trump shills

The conversations—do you give him advice? Does he give you advice?

Scarborough: He’s Donald Trump. He tells stories. You listen to the stories. He does, though, obviously, poke at me especially for any criticism on the air, for going after Giuliani as tough and as hard as I’ve gone after Giuliani. The conversations we’ve had, I talk about them on the air. I don’t say anything to him and Mika doesn’t say anything to him that we don’t say on the show. It’s transparent.

Brzezinski: In our most recent conversation, I told him I want him to do something big for women. I said that on the air this morning. So I’m not sure why this is being translated by our competitors, and the narrative they want to create as dirty. What we have is access, and we’re literally being as transparent as we can about it.

Scarborough: Mika knows this better than most because Charlie Rose, Ted Koppel, Leslie Stahl, you name it, they all wanted to play tennis with Dr. Brzezinski when he was running America’s national foreign policy. Why? Because he was a great tennis player? No. Because they wanted to get access to him. Andrea Mitchell for a very long time has been right in the middle of the Washington social scene, and that’s not dirty. You could say the same thing about Cokie Roberts, who’s been a fixture in Washington, D.C., her entire like. There’s nothing wrong with her.

Brzezinski: Ben Bradlee.

Scarborough: Ben Bradlee! You can’t be tighter with anyone than Ben Bradlee was with the Kennedys. This has been going on for 200 years in Washington, D.C. The question is: Do you call it straight, regardless of knowing people? It wasn’t easy at times, saying the things that I said about Barack Obama, knowing that Valerie Jarrett was watching, that she was a good friend of ours, and that we would be having dinner in a couple of weeks.