United States President Donald Trump took to his preferred communications medium, Twitter, Thursday morning to launch a verbal attack on MSNBC ‘Morning Joe’ co-host, Mika Brzezinski.
“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came…..to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!,” the president wrote over two tweets.
I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
…to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
Some speculated quickly the inflammatory attack was prompted by comments Brzezinski made on Thursday morning’s program, as the panel discussed the news that Trump had a fake Time magazine cover displayed at his properties.
“Nothing makes a man feel better than making a fake cover of a magazine about himself, lying every day, and destroying the country,” Brzezinski said. A moment later, Brzezinski said Trump was covering his hands in the photo used on the fake Time cover because they are “teensy”. The suggestion that Trump has small hands has been a long-standing joke that started in 1988 when Graydon Carter (now editor in chief of Vanity Fair) called Trump a “short-fingered vulgarian” in piece for Spy Magazine.
Doubling down on the remark after the attack from Trump, Brzezinski tweeted a picture of the back of a Cheerios box featuring the slogan “Made for little hands”.
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) June 29, 2017
According to CNN, Trump was mistaken in his tweets about the Morning Joe duo.
Referring to Trump’s suggestion that he turned Brzezinski and her co-host and fiancé, Joe Scarborough, away from his resort, CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote: “He actually said yes, according to accounts of their meeting. Trump, Scarborough and Brzezinski mingled with guests and had a private chat.” And, Stelter wrote, “for the record, photos from Mar-a-Lago do not show any blood or bandages on Brzezinski’s face.”
Later, on Fox News, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s remarks.
“I don’t think that the president has ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t push back,” Huckabee Sanders said. “This is a president who fights fire with fire, and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else.”
Sarah Sanders addresses Trump's Morning Joe tweets: "This is a president who fights fire with fire." pic.twitter.com/GKq608sLdA
— Axios (@axios) June 29, 2017
Scarborough is a former Republican congressman. Brzezinski is the daughter of former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Republican House leader Paul Ryan, however, took a different line when asked about the Twitter tirade.
“Obviously I don’t see that as an appropriate comment,” Ryan told reporters. “What we’re trying to do around here is improve the tone and the civility of the debate, and this obviously doesn’t help do that.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Trump's "Morning Joe" tweets: "Obviously I don't see that as an appropriate comment." https://t.co/Sz11G25P86
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) June 29, 2017
Shortly before Trump’s election as president, his wife, Melania, vowed that as First Lady, she would campaign against cyberbullying.
According to CNN, Melania Trump’s communications director Stephanie Grisham said this morning: “As the First Lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.”
Trump has a long relationship with the co-hosts of ‘Morning Joe’. He has reportedly had a personal friendship with Scarborough for many years, and during his campaign for president, Trump routinely appeared on the program. However, in recent months, the pair have become increasingly critical of Trump’s performance as president, and in February Trump’s communications adviser, Kellyanne Conway, from the show. At the time, Brzezinski said Conway was “not credible anymore.”
Reaction from media to Trump’s comments Thursday morning on Twitter was largely that of shock.
Anyone with a child under 18 has to be asking themselves, how do I explain the president's actions especially since he faces no consequences
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) June 29, 2017
"Be courteous to all.” -Washington
“With malice toward none.” -Lincoln
“Low-IQ Crazy Mika…was bleeding badly from a facelift.” -Trump
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) June 29, 2017
This might be controversial, but it seems like our president sometimes treats women differently than men
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) June 29, 2017
Starting think that all women need to do to get Trump out of the White House is stage a bleed-in on his front lawn.
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) June 29, 2017
Many snarky things I could say. But I won't. I am saddened by just how much Donald Trump has diminished the Presidency of our United States. https://t.co/VE20myjaPC
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) June 29, 2017
However, there were some who cheered the comments.
I firmly disagree with Trump’s tweets about Morning Joe today
He was far nicer than they deserve
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) June 29, 2017