On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump took aim at MSNBC’s Morning Joe, in particular co-host Mika Brzezinski. Morning Joe and Trump have had a rocky relationship, going back and forth between praise for the candidate-turned-President and outright criticism. Trump tweeted (the two tweets have been merged together), “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 tweet came roughly forty minutes after Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media, tweeted from his personal account, “#DumbAsARockMika and lover #JealousJoe are lost, confused & saddened since @POTUS @realDonaldTrump stopped returning their calls! Unhinged.” Scavino’s personal account is one of forty-five accounts that Trump follows on his personal account. Scavino’s tweet came shortly after Morning Joe did a segment on the fake Time Magazine covers in Trump properties. Brzezinski also made a joke about Trump’s hand size, an issue that the President got defensive about during the campaign.
Brzezinski responded with a tweet of her own,
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) June 29, 2017
MSNBC responded to the tweets with a statement, “It’s a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job.” Mark Kornblau, the head of PR for NBC News and MSNBC, tweeted, “Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, ‘it is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States.'”
Stephanie Grisham, the spokeswoman for First Lady Melania Trump, responded to the tweet, “As the First Lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.” Many on Twitter noted that Melania Trump had announced that fighting cyberbullying would be one of her top priorities as First Lady.
Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders toed a similar line when she appeared on Fox News’s American Newsroom. She said, “Look I don’t think the President’s ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t push back.” She then followed up with, “This is a president who fights fire with fire and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by a liberal media and liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else.”
Republicans have been quick to criticize Trump for his tweet. Representative Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) tweeted, “This is not okay. As a female in politics I am often criticized for my looks. We should be working to empower women.”
Speaker Paul Ryan said of the remarks, “I don’t see that as an appropriate comment.” Ryan has publicly criticized Trump over his tweets in the past.
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), a frequent critic of Trump, tweeted, “Please just stop. This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office.” Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) tweeted a call to action, “This has to stop – we all have a job – 3 branches of gov’t and media. We don’t have to get along, but we must show respect and civility.” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), on the other hand, made a reference to Trump’s campaign slogan of Make America Great Again, “Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.”