MSNBC's Joe Scarborough has been suspended for two days without pay after he acknowledged making political donations over the past several years without seeking network approval.
"I recognize that I have a responsibility to honor the guidelines and conditions of my employment, and I regret that I failed to do so in this matter," Scarborough said in a statement. "After learning of this situation, I called [network president] Phil Griffin and agreed with Phil's immediate demand of a two-day suspension without pay."
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Scarborough, who will return to Morning Joe
on Wednesday, said he gave a "number of $500 contributions" to family and friends in what he calls "simple acts of friendship." "I gained nothing personally, politically, or professionally from these donations," he said.His suspension follows that of
, who was also suspended for two days without pay after he acknowledged donating to three candidates before the midterm elections.
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NBC News' policy allows employees to make political donations as long as they receive the proper approval from the network news president. Olbermann and Scarborough both failed to get such approval before making their respective donations. Scarborough said he "mistakenly believed" that he did not need approval for his contributions because they involved local, non-competitive races in his hometown of Pensacola, Fla., and were given for personal, not political, reasons. "I apologize to MSNBC and to anyone who has been negatively affected by my actions," Scarborough said.
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"As Joe recognizes, it is critical that we enforce our standards and policies," Griffin said in a statement.Scarborough's contributions were first discovered by Politico
, which reported that he contributed to at least five Republican candidates who were running for state legislative seats in or near Pensacola. Contacted by the website, Scarborough, who writes a column for Politico, disclosed that he made three more contributions to a friend running for county office in Florida.
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"I am proud to work for the NBC News family. There is nothing more important than maintaining the integrity of its highly respected brand," Scarborough said. "I apologize to Phil Griffin, [NBC News President] Steve Capus, and my colleagues. This will not happen again."