MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and others on his "Morning Joe"
panel Monday morning downplayed an extensive New York Times
article about Donald Trump's complicated history concerning women, saying they didn't think the piece would damage the presumptive nominee's campaign.
"I'm sorry, that's — if this is their lead story on Sunday, explosive, above the fold, especially considering who he is running against, it's breathtaking," Scarborough said.
Further, two of the story's claims, that Trump had asked a female guest to put on a bikini and that he had kissed a beauty contest participant on the lips, did not mean much, said Scarborough.
"In the thousands and thousands and thousands of receptions I've had before, people have, women have come up of all ages and kissed me on the lips," said Scarborough. "I don't like it, I wish they wouldn't have, but I wouldn't have run to The New York Times when they did it."
Also, "he gave a woman a bathing suit to try on. Now, when this was unfolding, I expected that she was going to try it on in front of him and then he was going to — instead he goes, 'you look really good in that,'" said Scarborough.
Bloomberg politics editor Mark Halperin, meanwhile, said there were "some troubling" things in the piece, but nothing illegal, and "if that's the best they have in this score, Donald Trump can celebrate this story politically."
Political commentator Mike Barnicle, also on the show, admitted that many of the anecdotes in The Times' story depicted "boorish behavior" but they were not surprising considering that Trump was involved.
"You wouldn't want it occurring to your daughter by a guy, but it's Donald Trump," he said. "And when it comes to Donald Trump, it comes with the dinner. People expect it, they know it, they're not surprised. They're not even offended."
Halperin added in that he was most offended not by the stories concerning the kissing and the bathing suit comments, but ones that were reportedly made in the Trump workplace.
Show co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed that the "quotes of things he said to people at work make me very uncomfortable," but not those made to beauty pageant participants.
"He ran beauty pageants, which are TV events centered around women, mostly, flaunting themselves on television in barely any clothes, bikinis, and willingly being objectified," she said, admitting she hates pageants as they "objectify women."
Donny Deutsch, a frequent guest on the program, defended Trump and called him a "feminist," and told the program that he himself had treated women worse in the workplace.
"I ran a company and I was roguish in certain ways," Deutsch said. "Nine of my 11 partners were women. I would say things in the workplace, but at the end of the day, it was a meritocracy, women wouldn't insult men, men wouldn't insult women. He's an equal opportunity insulter."
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