Speed Reads


Joe Scarborough announces he's leaving the Republican Party

Morning Joe host and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough told Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night's The Late Show that the GOP has "betrayed its core values" in the last several years, and he plans on walking away from the party and becoming an independent.

Scarborough said he watched as Donald Trump said in December 2015 he supported a ban on letting Muslims enter the United States, and in February 2016 pretended he did not know who white supremacist David Duke was, and "you didn't have any Republicans coming out saying, 'I could never support Donald Trump because he's racist.' They'd have thousands of other excuses why, but always overlooked that." With each new bit of drama surrounding Trump — including the latest, involving Donald Trump Jr. and his meeting with a Russian attorney in June 2016 — Republicans "turned the other way and they're doing the same thing now," Scarborough said. "It's actually disgusting and 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 our values are they willing to sell out?'"

After Scarborough called the behavior "disgusting," Colbert asked, "But aren't you a Republican?" "I am a Republican, but I'm not going to be a Republican anymore," Scarborough responded. "I'm going to become an independent." Scarborough — who, along with his Morning Joe co-host and fiancée Mika Brzezinski, has famously tussled with Trump throughout the campaign and his presidency — did not say when he plans on officially leaving the party.