MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski revealed Friday that she has tried to connect Mark Halperin with the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, saying they "don't want to talk to him" and lamenting the "hypocrisies here" when men are not given the opportunity to apologize for their behavior.
Halperin, a frequent "Morning Joe" guest, was fired from his roles as an MSNBC and NBC News political analyst in October after several women accused him of sexual harassment while he worked at ABC News. The allegations included groping, propositioning employees, and pressing his erection against their bodies while he was clothed.
The "Morning Joe" discussion began with coverage of the resignation of Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) after multiple accusations of sexual harassment made against him. Franken, who did not apologize to his accusers in his initial speech announcing he would step down, made his final Senate speech on Thursday.
Franken is stepping down Jan. 2 after being pressured by Democratic colleagues when a seventh accuser came forward against him alleging he groped her. Some Democrats have since expressed regret for hastily pushing for his resignation, and Brzezinski and co-host Joe Scarborough said due process was superseded in the case of Franken.
Scarborough stressed there needed to be punishment for all examples of sexual misconduct, but he said there was also a distinction between an accused rapist like Harvey Weinstein and someone accused of squeezing a rear end.
"We have a criminal law system that differentiates between murder and jaywalking," Scarborough said. "We need to do that here, too."
"We also have some men who are willing to face the music, who are willing to face the facts, who are willing to admit to their actions 10, 20 years ago, even five years ago," Brzezinski said. "Mark Halperin is more than willing to meet with his accusers and apologize [to] them face-to-face. I've actually tried to offer him to them. They don't want to talk to him. They don't want to talk to him."
"There are some hypocrisies here," she added. "When things happen and men actually want to validate that truth, that's important that we actually allow that if we want to grow as a society and learn from each other. If we just want to strike people down for political motivation or for anger, we're not going to get anywhere, and I know I just said something incredibly—what's the word—explosive."
"Truthful," Scarborough said.
"But, I have been pouring through these cases. They're all different. They all involve people," Brzezinski said. "They all involve people who have terrible experiences, in some cases, and some of them involve men who have sought counseling and who want to apologize, who may not ever come back to their careers in full form, but the question is should they be allowed to apologize? Should they show that they know that things have changed, that perhaps maybe they want to actually come forward and talk about this? I'm not sure what we're doing here. I really don't know, and what happened with Al Franken doesn't feel right. It feels political."
Brzezinski previously cast doubt on Franken's first public accuser, Leeann Tweeden, noting she was a Trump voter and "Playboy model who goes on Hannity," also asking if it was OK to ask if the actual allegations of sexual misconduct against Franken occurred.
Brzezinski hit Democrats for showing "unspeakably hypocrisy" by previously backing Bill and Hillary Clinton when the former was accused of sexual misconduct and the latter accused of enabling it.
She's also previously said she and Scarborough fully supported NBC's decision to suspend Halperin.