Joe Scarborough has left the party.
The “Morning Joe” host and former Republican congressman announced on “The Late Show” Tuesday that he’s leaving the GOP.
“I am a Republican but I’m not going to be a Republican anymore,” Scarborough told host Stephen Colbert. “I’ve got to become an Independent.”
Colbert opened the segment by asking Scarborough why Republicans still support President Trump.
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“I think it’s inexplicable. This is well before Donald Trump was elected President that my party has betrayed its core values. I remember back in December of 2015 when Donald Trump supported the Muslim ban. I said on the air, ‘It’s very simple. It’s black and white. I could never vote for anybody in my party who said they were going to ban people because of the god they worship,'” Scarborough said.
“It was disturbing through the entire campaign. In February, when he talked about David Duke and pretended he didn’t know who David Duke was and didn’t know what the Klu Klux Klan did. You didn’t have Republicans coming out, saying ‘I can never support Donald Trump because he’s racist.’ They had 1,000 other excuses why.
“Time and time and time again, they turned the other way. And they’re doing the same thing now and it’s actually disgusting. You have to ask yourself what exactly is the Republican Party willing to do. How far are they willing to go? How much of this country and its values are they willing to sell out?”
Scarborough, who served in the House from 1995 to 2001, was once a favorite of President Trump, but the two have since parted ways as the attacks got nastier.
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In February, he and co-host/fiancée Mika Brzezinski banned Kellyanne Conway from their show, launching a back-and-forth war of words online between the President and the show hosts, including accusations that “Morning Joe” was failing in the ratings.
In late June, the President launched a personal attack against Brzezinski, who he said was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” at a New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago.
Scarborough and Brzezinski said in an op-ed shortly after the attack that White House staffers blackmailed them by threatening to have the National Enquirer publish a damaging story about their off-air relationship if they didn’t apologize to Trump.
While the personal attacks have been less frequent, “Morning Joe” has continued to be harsh on the President.
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Tuesday morning, Scarborough blasted Donald Trump Jr. after he released emails with a Russian lawyer about potentially incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.
“How stupid of Don, Jr.,” he said on “Morning Joe.”
“I mean I guess it runs in the family, to go on Twitter when he is clearly in legal jeopardy.”
During his tenure in the House, Scarborough was considered part of the “New Federalists,” a group of 40 young Republicans that focused on budget cuts in the government, including a campaign to “privatize, localize, consolidate, (or) eliminate” the functions of the departments of Commerce, Education, Energy and Housing and Urban Development.
He also voted for several anti-abortion laws and introduced legislation in 1995 that called for the United States to leave the United Nations.
Scarborough has not commented further on leaving the GOP, but tweeted his disapproval of the party Tuesday.
“How long will Republicans subvert the best interests of their country to cover up for Donald Trump?” he wrote.
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