MSNBC's "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski attended President-elect Donald Trump's New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida.
The two journalists were criticized on Twitter for attending Trump's bash, which Scarborough defended in several tweets, notes Crooks and Liars:
2. Around 7pm, I had a preset meeting with PEOTUS before his party trying to set up an interview (much like reporters at CBS & NYT do.
3. The event was black tie. Both Mika and I were in casual clothes, did not attend the party, and left before any "partying" began.
4. Nothing that Mika and I did in setting up this meeting was any different than what all good reporters and news hosts try to do daily.
5. Anyone suggesting otherwise is a hypocrite who ignores what great journalists from Ben Bradlee to Tom Brokaw have done for years.
An unidentified source told Politico that hundreds of people paid more than $500 to attend Trump's party; members paid $525, while guests paid $575.
Hope Hicks, Trump’s future White House Director of Strategic Communications, insisted that folks were not buying access to Trump: "The transition is not concerned about the appearance of a conflict. This is an annual celebratory event at the private club, like others that have continued to occur since the election. Additionally, the president cannot and does not have a conflict."
Sean Spicer, Trump’s future White House press secretary, announced that Sylvester Stallone and Quincy Jones would attend the party, but Jones' representative, Arnold Robinson, told Variety that the legendary music producer would not be attending.
Jones is a longtime Democrat and supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president.
Stallone was confirmed to appear, and was also rumored to be named by Trump to an arts position, possibly the National Endowment for the Arts. However, Stallone said in a statement that he would rather serve U.S. vets.