Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough spar over Matt Lauer and how much they knew about his behavior

Allegations against former NBC anchor Matt Lauer caused an on air disagreement between the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski acknowledged that they were aware of “stories” about the long-time host of NBC’s “Today” show who was fired Wednesday for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”

“I’ve always heard stories about, you know, him kind of fooling around or whatever,” Brzezinski said about Lauer’s alleged pursuit of various women at work over the years.

Jokes about his sexual pursuits were made at a Friars Club roast of Lauer that was attended by Scarborough, the “Morning Joe” co-host recalled.

“The most powerful people in media, and everybody that came up were making fun of Matt Lauer, not pushing himself on people, but the whole thing was, he does his show and then he has sex with people, with employees,” Scarborough said.

He noted that Lauer’s inappropriate behavior was no secret.

“So was this whispered behind closed doors? No, it was shouted from the mountaintops and everybody laughed about it,” Scarborough said.

He later appeared to walk back the comment as he began to openly disagree with his co-host and finace.

“This seemed like something everybody really thought they knew,” Brzezinski said. “I mean, there’s not a person, I think, who worked in and around the sphere of Matt Lauer who had not heard these things …”

“Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, I’ve got to correct you there,” Scarborough interjected. “Never heard about a lock on a door. Nobody that I know of ever heard of a lock on the door. Nobody heard of him pushing himself on women.”

(Image: screenshot)

Scarborough was referring to the latest accusation against Lauer in which a woman alleged she was locked in the NBC star’s office and had sexual intercourse with him until she passed out.

Scarborough went on to reveal that office conversations were heard about predictions that the identities of 14 famous women would be known who were Lauer’s alleged sexual partners. “Because that’s what you heard about Matt Lauer, was, oh, he was with all these powerful women and women on the ‘Today’ show and this, that, the other,” he said.

Lauer’s past is being played out in videos that have been resurfacing, from inappropriate comments he made to a “Today” show co-host that were caught on air, to gifting a co-worker with a sex toy and even former co-anchor Katie Couric once admitting Lauer “pinches me on the ass a lot.”

The 59-year-old issued an apology that was read by his former “Today” show co-hosts on Thursday.

Brzezinski was interrupted several times by her fiance as he cautioned her and others on the panel to be careful about saying they knew about Lauer’s actions.

“You’ve got to be careful when you say that we knew about this stuff,” he said after she talked about patterns of predatory behavior being an “open secret” in the industry.

(Image: screenshot)

“There is a difference between philandering and being a predator. The stories we all heard was that Matt was a philanderer. I never heard a story that he was a predator. …” Scarborough responded.

“The deeply offensive stories that he would hold women that worked for him, and they would be weeping … ” he continued, shutting down another panelist who tried to interject. “Let me finish, because we need to have this conversation, OK?”

Scarborough managed to squeeze in a few comments about President Trump, not surprisingly, as the ongoing feud between them escalated when Trump’s tweet about Lauer on Wednesday made reference to an “unsolved mystery” involving a dead intern and the former Republican congressman from Florida.

Brzezinski responded with a statement declaring the couple would not be intimidated.

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Frieda Powers

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