President Trump lashed out against the hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday morning, hurling a series of insults on Twitter including one referencing female host Mika Brzezinski's face "bleeding" from a facelift.
The complete statement, which was denounced by NBC and members of the president's own party: "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!"
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
While Trump claimed not to watch their show, it did appear he was responding to criticism from the hosts about his presidency.
It wouldn't be the first time that the president has created a stir by making reference to blood and a female media personality. Back in the early days of his campaign, Megyn Kelly, then at Fox News, asked candidate Trump about his treatment of women. That soon led to Trump to this now infamous response: "She starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions, and you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever."
Brzezinski appeared to reply to Trump's attacks on Twitter, sending out an image referencing "little hands."
Per Bloomberg News, MSNBC released 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."
NBC employees rallied to defense of their colleagues.
Doesn't the President of the United States have anything better to do?— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) June 29, 2017
Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, "it is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States."— Mark Kornblau (@MarkKornblau) June 29, 2017
Lawmakers also denounced the tweet, including a number of Republicans:
Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office.— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 29, 2017
Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 29, 2017
This is not okay. As a female in politics I am often criticized for my looks. We should be working to empower women. https://t.co/sV6WDE0EUD— Lynn Jenkins (@RepLynnJenkins) June 29, 2017
I want my GOP colleagues to explain to my 3 granddaughters why they think these viciously sexist comments are acceptable from our President. https://t.co/C0C4GJaYks— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) June 29, 2017
Others also reacted to the president's tweets:
My God, someone go smash his phone. Please.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 29, 2017
But seriously it's great to see Melania's cyberbullying initiative is off to an amazing start.— Slade Sohmer (@Slade) June 29, 2017
According to CNN, Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the president's tweet, "This is a president who fights fire with fire."
Sarah Huckabee Sanders on President's tweet this morning: "This is a President who fights fire with fire"— Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) June 29, 2017
First lady Melania Trump's communications director appeared to defend the president's comments, per CNN.
Melania Trump's comms director: "As First Lady has stated publicly...when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder."— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 29, 2017
Thursday's attacks appeared to begin with Trump's social media director, Dan Scavino Jr., who tweeted about half an hour before the president, "#DumbAsARockMika and lover #JealousJoe are lost, confused & saddened since @POTUS @realDonaldTrump stopped returning their calls! Unhinged."
During the early months of his presidential campaign, in 2015 and 2016, Trump was interviewed frequently on Morning Joe; but that stopped after a falling out between the candidates and the talk show hosts.
Was it really only less than two months ago when, in announcing their engagement, Scarborough and Brzezinski said Trump had offered to officiate their wedding?