The White House said on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump did not go too far in tweets about two MSNBC “Morning Joe” hosts, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
Trump assailed Brzezinski in highly personal terms on Thursday morning, calling her “crazy” and alleging she had been bleeding at one point from a facelift, in a Twitter attack that drew strong criticism including from fellow Republicans.
Asked if Trump went too far with the attack, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “I don’t think so. I mean, I think that the President has been attacked mercilessly on personal accounts by members on that programme. And I think he’s been very clear that when he gets attacked, he’s going to hit back.
“I think the American people elected somebody who’s tough, who’s smart, and who’s a fighter, and that’s Donald Trump. And I don’t think that it’s a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire. The things that this show has called him, and not just him, but numerous members of his staff, including myself, and many others are very deeply personal.”
But House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said he viewed the tweets as inappropriate.
“Obviously, I don’t see that as an appropriate comment. I think, look, 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,” Ryan said.
For House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Trump’s words are “beneath the dignity of the president of the United States” and saddening.
“I just don’t know why the Republicans say they can tolerate almost anything; a candidate beating up a reporter, and then cheering them on as he arrives in Congress,” she said.
“The tweets of the President of the United States, they set a low standard for public officials in terms of their demeanour. It’s really sad though — the President of the United States.”
The Republican president called Brzezinski, a journalist and daughter of former White House national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and said she was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” when she visited one of his properties around New Year’s Eve.