- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2017

The White House defended President Trump’s rant Thursday on Twitter against the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” saying the president was “fighting fire with fire.”

White House principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said show co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have “attacked mercilessly” the president, including accusing him of having a mental disorder.

“I think he’s been very clear that when he gets attacked, he is going to hit back,” she told reporters at the White House. “I think the American people elected somebody who’s tough, who’s smart and who’s a fighter — and that’s Donald Trump.”

The president was accused by Democrats and Republicans of going too far and lowering the dignity of the office after he slammed Mr. Scarborough and Ms. Brzezinski in a tweet. He singled out Ms. Brzezinski for allegedly having a facelift.

“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!”

Mrs. Sanders said the show routinely launches personal attacks on Mr. Trump and his staff, including calling them “utterly stupid,” “liars” and “mentally ill.”

“It’s kind of like we’re living in the Twilight Zone. They do this day after day after day and then the president responds and defends himself and everybody is appalled and blown away,” she said.

The show’s treatment of the president and his staff would not have been tolerated if directed at the previous administration, she said.

“The rest of the media would have said no way, guys, hold on. But nobody does that,” Mrs. Sanders said.

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