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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough Says He Will Leave Republican Party

Variety logo Variety 7/12/2017 Variety Staff
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Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host and former Republican U.S. Congressman, has long served as a sort of morning bulwark against the progressive anchors who take up the network’s primetime schedule. Now, he suggested he may play a more centrist role.

Speaking during a taping of CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Scarborough said he intended to leave the Republican party and become an independent. “I am a Republican, but I’m not going to be a Republican any more,” said Scarborough, seated next to his co-host Mika Brzezinksi, while talking to Colbert. Scarborough cited the Republican party’s refusal to acknowledge President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric during his campaign as well as his slow reaction to distance himself from David Duke, a politician and white nationalist who has had ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

Scarborough has expressed these thoughts in the recent past. But he  has long maintained his Republican bona fides, even going so far as to sit with Congress during President Trump’s February joint address to Congress.

Remarks Scarborough posted on Twitter Tuesday evening seemed to bolster his remarks to Colbert. He posted a quote from political consultant Reed Galen, saying,”The Republican Party I was born into and worked in for two decades is nearly gone.”

General interest in Brzezinski and Scarborough has surged in light of recent remarks President Trump tweeted about them.

Scarborough was slated to do a musical number on Colbert’s program, which is expected to air later this evening.

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