President Trump slammed two news anchors on Thursday in a pair of 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…” he tweeted continuing, “…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!”
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinkski host “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and have become vocal critics of Mr. Trump and his administration. Ms. Brzezinkski has repeatedly called the president’s mental health into question during their morning news program.
Mr. Trump had previously threatened to release more information on the two during the campaign trail when their coverage of him turned increasingly negative.
Ms. Brzezinski appeared to fire back on Twitter:
The president received immediate criticism from both sides of the political aisle with Republican Sens. Ben Sasse and Lindsey Graham both calling the action beneath the office.
Mr. Sasse tweeted, “Please just stop. This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office.”
Mr. Graham added, “Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.”
Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, connected Mr. Trump’s tweets with the heated rhetoric that caused the June 14 shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.
“I just chaired a hearing with the Capitol Police about safety and the June 14 shooting attack of Steve Scalise, Matt Mika, and Officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey. National and local leaders, including our President, should model civility, honor, and respect in our political rhetoric. The President’s tweets today don’t help our political or national discourse and do not provide a positive role model for our national dialogue,” Mr. Lankford said in a statement.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Mr. Trump’s tweets were “blatantly sexist” and show his disrespect for women.
“That really saddens me because it is so beneath the dignity of the president of the United States to engage in such behavior. I don’t know why the Republicans, they can tolerate almost anything, a candidate beating up a reporter and then cheering him on as he arrives in Congress. The tweets of the president of the United States set a low standard for public officials in terms of their demeanor,” Mrs. Pelosi said at a news briefing.
“I think it’s so blatantly sexist,” she added.
Democratic National Committee Communications Director Adrienne Watson called the tweet “sexist” in a statement that read in part, “Trump’s bullying tweets are an attack on women everywhere. Trump has a long pattern of making demeaning, sexist and discriminatory comments about women who take him on.”
First Lady Melania Trump came to her husband’s defense in a statement from her office.
“As the First Lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder,” said a statement from Stephanie Grisham, communications director for the First Lady.
White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the president’s actions saying that the MSNBC hosts have made repeated personal attacks against Mr. Trump and his staff.
“I don’t think the president has ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t pushed back. There have been an outrageous number of personal attacks, not just about him, but about the people around him. People on that show have attacked me many times,” she explained on Fox News.
“This is a president who fights fire with fire, and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by the liberal media and the liberal elites within the media, Hollywood or anyone else,” Mrs. Sanders said.
Mr. Trump had previously threatened to release more information on the two during the campaign tweeting last August, “Some day, when things calm down, I’ll tell the real story of @JoeNBC and his very insecure long-time girlfriend, @morningmika. Two clowns!”
Mr. Scarborough and Ms. Brzezinkski announced their engagement earlier this year.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan also criticized the president’s tweet.
“I don’t see that as an appropriate comment,” he said.
He said he won’t let the distractions of the tweet derail the House from its business.