When the president published a series of tweets disparaging the intelligence, mental health, and physical appearance of political commentator Mika Brzezinski, the TV personality was too busy co-hosting her show Morning Joe on MSNBC to read them. Yet it wasn't long before Brzezinski saw them and issued a response to the president. In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, however, Brzezinski has revealed her first reaction to Trump's tweets was simply to laugh.
"I started laughing," Brzezinski told Vanity Fair of the moment she first read the tweets off fellow Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist's phone.
President Trump launched a personal attack against Brzezinski early Thursday, calling her "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and alleging "she was bleeding badly from a face-lift" when she came to Mar-a-Lago with co-host Joe Scarborough over New Year's.
"[I] said, 'Sh-t. I kind of wanted to keep that to myself,'" Brzezinski told the magazine of her initial reaction, referencing a minor surgical procedure she'd had to tighten the skin around her neck. But Brzezinski claims she wasn't ashamed of having had plastic surgery and the procedure wasn't a complete secret. "I had a turkey neck. My mom told me to get it done," she told Vanity Fair. "I was FaceTiming all my friends, telling them to get it done, that it wasn’t so bad."
According to Brzezinski, Melania Trump was among those she'd showed off the results of her procedure to while meeting briefly with Trump his members-only resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
"The irony of it all is that Donald kept saying, 'That's incredible. You can't even tell? Who did it? Who did it?'" Brzezinski said. "He kept asking for the name of the doctor. He literally asked 10 times. 'Is he down here? Who is he?'"
Thursday's incident wasn't the first time Trump had used Twitter to insult Brzezinski. In August of 2016 he tweeted she was "off the wall, a neurotic and not very bright mess!" The following month he tweeted Brzezinski was "crazy and very dumb" and accused her of having a "mental breakdown" while on air.
Scarborough, Brzezinski's Morning Joe co-host (and recently revealed fiancé), told Vanity Fair the pair wasn't taking Trump's most recent insulting tweets too seriously. "We would take these insults seriously from anyone else," he said. "We don't from him, because, unfortunately, we believe he is in decline."
While Trump's tweets spurred a hefty amount of backlash and criticism even among members of his own party, Brzezinski reiterated Trump's comments had done little, if anything, to hurt her.
"I'm fine," she told Morning Joe viewers on Friday. "My family brought me up really tough. This is absolutely nothing for me personally."
Brzezinski has, however, expressed concern for what she described as Trump's penchant for lying and hurling insults via social media networks reveals about his psyche.
"I am very concerned about what this once again reveals about the president of the United States," she said. "It's strange." Brzezinski said she thought Trump's tweets pointed to "a fragile, childlike ego" that voters should find profoundly concerning.