Everything You Need To Know About This Morning Joe Couple

Morning Joe talk show hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough are married! The colleagues confirmed their engagement to Vanity Fair in May 2017, validating the widely-held suspicion that the duo's on-air connection was more than just professional, and they wed in a secret ceremony at a very prominent location in November 2018. We've got all those details and more about this intriguing power couple.

He popped the question in France

Brzezinski celebrated her 50th birthday on May 2, 2017, in the lovely French coastal city of Antibes, and after a few false starts (like bringing the ring along in a convertible ride to Monaco) that just didn't feel right, Scarborough went down on one knee at a hotel. Brzezinski told Vanity Fair she "started laughing nervously, almost hysterically," but quickly said, "Absolutely!"

Rumors have been flying for years

Perhaps you're thinking, "I thought they were already a couple!" Well, yeah, presumably they aren't jumping straight to an engagement on their first date, which might be why suspicions about possible extracurricular activities were raised a long time ago. In early 2017, Scarborough told The Hollywood Reporter, "We have a crackling on-air chemistry, and a crackling off-air chemistry, too."

These two had a natural camaraderie even when they were both happily married. He divorced his second wife in 2013. She and her husband were married for 23 years but split in late 2015; their divorce was finalized in 2016. The co-hosts told Vanity Fair nothing improper occurred while they were married to other people and that they only started exploring their feelings when they were both single.

Did they throw Alec Baldwin under the bus?

Before Scarborough and Brzezinski made their relationship official, they somehow managed to skirt any direct media accusations that they'd taken their on-air chemistry off the set. This was reportedly the result of a savvy PR effort on behalf of the powerful morning show hosts, who allegedly went as far as making backroom deals to keep their secret out of the headlines. One such deal, according to the Daily Beast, was an arrangement made with New York Post columnist Richard Johnson, who in 2013 was prepared to go public with a story about their romance. Brzezinski allegedly begged the late Roger Ailes, who was running Fox News at the time, to reach out to fellow News Corp. employee Johnson to have the story shelved. Johnson reportedly agreed, and the next day Scarborough allegedly "phoned him and gave him the juicy scoop that Alec Baldwin was about to be fired from his short-lived MSNBC program."

Though the decision to nix his program had already been made, this alleged backdoor dealing supposedly didn't sit well with Baldwin, who lashed out at the Morning Joe hosts, calling the show "boring," describing Scarborough as "neither eloquent nor funny," and "Mika B." as "the Margaret Dumont of cable news" — whatever that means. Vague insults aside, the plan worked because their rumored secret remained safe for another four years.

It's a nice day for a White House wedding, or is it?

Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough told Vanity Fair that after Donald Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, the president said the talk show stars could hold their wedding at the White House or at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly offered to officiate the ceremony.

Of course, this all occurred before the public fallout between the president and the morning show duo (more on that in a minute), but apparently a Rose Garden wedding didn't appeal to this bride-to-be anyway. "The mental picture is just fascinating," she told the magazine, "but the reality is just...no. No, no, no, no, no."

They've formed a big, blended family

It's not likely the couple will try to have more children at their ages — both are in their fifties — but they're probably all right with that. They already have six children between them. Four belong to Scarborough and two to Brzezinski. They'll also need to figure out how to combine their animal companions: three dogs, three cats, two rabbits, and several chickens. Good luck with that one, folks.

They're both politically connected

Joe Scarborough is a former Florida Congressman — He served from 1994 to 2001 — who parlayed his political career into the world of televised political punditry. According to his MSNBC bio, he was considered "the most influential Republican in America in the 2016 election cycle." That seems like a bold claim, except GQ seemingly corroborated it with coverage of how Scarborough was essentially treated like political royalty at the 2016 Republican National Convention, even garnering a private meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Mika Brzezinski is also known around the Beltway. Her late father was an advisor to Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter. After earning an English degree from Georgetown University, Brzezinski launched her broadcast career, gravitating toward news and politics. Her breakout moment came during an infamous segment on Morning Joe when she protested having to report a Paris Hilton story by first attempting to burn the script, then shredding it.

The combination of Brzezinski's no-nonsense journalistic approach with Scarborough's center-right ideology created a dynamic that clicked with MSNBC's viewership.

He wants to be a rock star

When he's not sipping mud and talking smack on cable TV, Joe Scarborough puts on a different hat: the battered, beat-up headgear of the musician. His group, Morning Joe Music, includes a sax, keyboard, and drum ensemble, along with other supporting sounds. Scarborough handles guitar and lead vocals, and he's reportedly penned at least 400 of his own songs. Scarborough told GQ he's "been in garage bands since he was a teenager," but the morning show vet is now making a legitimate run at the music biz. He even pays his eight band members out of his own pocket, and one of whom told GQ that it's "enough to make this our priority."

For Scarborough, the musicis also about leaving a legacy that's more than just being a political talking head. He told Vanity Fair in August 2016, "I turned 50 and I said, I'm going to die and my kids are never going to see this side of me." 

They took on Trump

Joe Scarborough has known Donald Trump for years. He was even an early supporter of then-candidate Trump when everyone else was predicting he wouldn't win a single primary, but the relationship soured after Trump won the Republican nomination. Scarborough started criticizing his campaign style, suggesting it wouldn't work in a general-election campaign, reported GQ. Scarborough's bromance with Trump then took a fatal hit when the news man declared on-air that Bernie Sanders and Chris Christie provided better ratings than Trump did when they were guests on the show.

Scarborough claims Trump fired off an angry email, which "basically said we weren't his friends anymore." Publicly, Trump took to Twitter, essentially outing Scarborough and Brzezinski's romantic relationship, but the real fireworks would come months later. After Morning Joe's continued criticism of the president's first few months in office, Trump sparked a massive controversy one morning when he tweeted accusations that Scarborough and Brzezinski were still privately pursuing his friendship and that Brzezinski had gotten plastic surgery.

The Morning Joe hosts responded by confirming reports that high-ranking White House staffers had contacted them on behalf of the president offering to arrange a deal to get a negative National Enquirer story about them "spiked" if they would apologize on air for their negative coverage. As it stands, both sides have refused to budge. Each has accused the other of lying, and the president is still coining insulting nicknames on Twitter, such as "Crazy Joe Scarborough" and "dumb as a rock Mika." 

Joe is producing a Trump musical

Combining his two passions, politics and music, Joe Scarborough is in the process of writing a musical about Donald Trump, and this isn't just something he's planning to play for Brzezinski on their piano at home. According to GQ. Scarborough enlisted the help of Taylor Swift's band director as well as one of the stars of the Broadway smash Hamilton to record some of the songs he's written for his show.

Scarborough even shared a song sample with GQ, who published an excerpt from the musical he's describing as "Hamilton meets The Book of Mormon." The lyrics include references to an "orange tan," "genius border plan," and "huge hands." Something tells us that even if this show wins a Tony Award, Scarborough shouldn't hold any tickets at the will call window for the White House.

Their careers were floundering when Morning Joe started

Describing the Morning Joe staff as "the Island of Misfit Toys" to GQ, Brzezinski alluded that both she and Scarborough weren't in great places in their careers when the show began. "A lot of us had been fired, had been washed-up, had been thrown off to the side," she said. The show itself wasn't given much thought. Meant to be an interim program while the network figured out how to deal with the sudden departure of Don Imus, Morning Joe was handed to Scarborough in the wake of the failure of Scarborough Country, his first attempt at political punditry. Along with Brzezinski, who'd been let go by CBS, Scarborough also enlisted producer Willie Geist, as well as Mike Barnicle, "a longtime Boston Globe columnist who'd been forced out amid allegations of plagiarism and fabrication," reported GQ. This combination of seemingly ill-fated broadcasters apparently hit its stride because ten years later, the show is still going strong.

Scarborough is a control freak

Scarborough has earned a reputation over the years as a meticulous curator of every facet of Morning Joe, right down to the fashionable design of the show's offices, reported GQ. He's reportedly clashed with producers on camera placement, negotiated the ability to broadcast remotely while he vacations in Nantucket, and even gets involved with guest booking — he reportedly refused to "let any Clinton campaign surrogates on Morning Joe until Clinton herself appeared." Though his authoritarian tactics apparently work, there was one time he may have overplayed his position.

Sources speaking with GQ claimed Scarborough once Googled his name and became unhappy with the search results, so he called MSNBC president Phil Griffin and ordered him to "call Google to fix it." Griffin responded that "Google's search algorithms were beyond his control," which is obviously true. It had to be slightly refreshing for Griffin, Scarborough's boss, to be able to squash at least one questionable demand from an employee who's publicly claimed he has "complete, extraordinary autonomy."

They've been on the show a long time

Though MSNBC didn't have big plans for Morning Joe, the chance it took on Scarborough and Brzezinski paid off handsomely for both the hosts and the network. MSNBC reported $17.3 million in ad revenue from the popular morning show alone in 2016, according to iSpot.tv (via Forbes). Scarborough gets a healthy chunk of that cash for his own pocket, banking a reported $8 million annual salary. Brzezinski was making far less — 14 times less than Scarborough — before a highly-publicized contract renegotiation. Her salary is tougher to track down, but after that new deal, she told Time in 2011, "There's always more money to be made," adding, "But we're in a much better place."

With the show celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2017, multi-million dollar deals locked in place, and a brewing feud with the sitting President of the United States, this power couple is sure to dish up political commentary for breakfast for many years to come.

They tied the knot in a secret ceremony

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski tied the knot in a private ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 24, 2018. The couple exchanged vows "in front of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights," Vanity Fair reported. Brzezinski said their choice of venue "makes sense now more than ever, given what we stand for as a couple, and what we're worried about as a country." Officiating the ceremony was Maryland's Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. "Congratulations to Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough!"  he tweeted. "...I wish you years of love and happiness together!" 

The Morning Joe co-hosts kept the wedding plans a secret from their audience, but they had a good reason. "Everything we do is exposed, and everything felt exposed every step of the way, so we want this to be private until it's over," Brzezinski told Vanity Fair. "We wanted to recognize it more quietly and have the people who are most important to us around us."

Can they make it last?

If their time on air together is any indication, these two TV big wigs will probably be fine. Although Joe Scarborough once thought he would never try marriage again, he told Vanity Fair he thinks their long working relationship proves they can get this one right. "It occurred to me that with us working together and being live on the air every day for three hours that we were forced, no matter what disagreements we had, what misunderstandings we had, to work through it and get right with each other by 5:59 A.M." When you put it that way, these two may be on to something. Most married couples don't have such strict deadlines for finishing up a fight.