MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Benched After Making Political Donations

Scarborough admits to making $4,000 in political contributions.

Nov. 19, 2010 — -- MSNBC personality Joe Scarborough has been suspended for two days after admitting he had donated $4,000 to political campaigns, a breach of network policy.

In a statement released today, Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, called the donations "simple acts of friendship" and said that he did not seek approval for the donations because they involved "local, noncompetitive races" that he didn't think were "relevant" to his work.

"I gave a number of $500 contributions to my brother and three longtime family friends," said Scarborough. "I gained nothing personally, politically or professionally from these donations."

"To be blunt, I had no interest in their campaigns other than being kind to longtime friends."

"Because the contributions involved local, noncompetitive races -- and were given for personal rather than political reasons -- I mistakenly believed I did not need approval from MSNBC," he said.

Scarborough's suspension comes two weeks after it was revealed that another MSNBC host, Keith Olbermann, had made donations to three Democratic candidates.

As in Olbermann's case, MSNBC President Phil Griffin released a statement explaining that Scarborough's donations were against company policy.

"This morning, Joe Scarborough informed me that he'd made eight contributions of $500 each to local candidates in Florida between 2004-08," wrote Griffin. "In my conversation with Joe two weeks ago, he did not recall these contributions. Since he did not seek or receive prior approval for these contributions, Joe understands that I will be suspending him for violating our policy."

Scarborough will be suspended for two days without pay and will return to the air Nov. 24, according to Griffin.

Politico, which was first to report Olbermann's missteps, also broke the news of Scarborough's suspension, reporting that it had "sought comment from the network after finding evidence that Scarborough gave at least five previously unknown $500 contributions while serving as an MNBC host."

Scarborough "voluntarily disclosed three other $500 contributions to a friend running for county office in Florida" after he was contacted, according to Politico.

In total, Scarborough is believed to have contributed $4,000 to candidates near his home in Pensacola, Fla.

Scarborough also works as a columnist for Politico. His latest story was published three days ago.