MSNBC's Joe Scarborough wondered whether President Donald Trump has used his allies at the National Enquirer to silence his enemies through blackmail.
The "Morning Joe" host has previously revealed attempts by the tabloid to blackmail him and Mika Brzezinski, his co-host and wife, to influence their coverage of the president, and Amazon-Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos exposed an apparent extortion attempt against him by Enquirer publisher AMI.
"A good question to ask is," Scarborough said, "please don't answer because we don't have evidence, but a good rhetorical question is: Who else has the National Enquirer blackmailed for the benefit of Donald Trump? Any House members? Any Senate members? Any political adversaries? Any editors? We know he tried it with talk show hosts, that didn't work."
"Who else has the National Enquirer blackmailed since Donald Trump became president of the United States?" he added. "What political enemies who actually didn't have the means to push back in the same way that Jeff Bezos pushed back?"
Brzezinski was amazed that AMI and its publisher David Pecker, a Trump ally who has struck a cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors, would target the richest man who ever lived -- and who also owns one of the most respected newspapers in the country.
"You really get the sense of this sort of 'Keystone Kop' nature of doing business, from Trump to his friends, his stooges," she said. "To send Jeff Bezos an e-mail extorting him and blackmailing him in black and white -- you've got to be incredibly stupid and incredibly arrogant."