Donald Trump sparked backlash Thursday morning after posting several tweets criticizing MSNBC's Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski as having "low I.Q." and claiming that she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" at an event months earlier. Shortly after Trump tweeted, Brzezinski appeared to respond on Twitter with a photo of a box of Cheerios that read "Made For Little Hands" — without a caption.
The photo Brzezinski tweeted depicted a young toddler's small finger reaching for a small Cheerio, with no caption or comment. Many Twitter users have pointed out that it was a reference to a running joke that the president has small hands — one that he has acknowledged in the past.
Back in 2016, presidential hopeful Marco Rubio took issue with Trump describing him as "little Rubio," and said that while Trump was significantly taller than him, his "hands are the size of someone who is 5'2"." Although Rubio apologized for his dig at Trump, the comment on the hands spread like fire online.
Rubio wasn't the first person to describe Trump's hands as small. Nearly three decades ago, Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, noted that Trump was "small-fingered" in Spy magazine. Last year, the public discussion about the size of Trump's hands reached to a point where Trump himself addressed the rumors and told his audience in Detroit, "Look at those hands. Are they small hands? And [Rubio] referred to my hands — if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem."
In his tweets criticizing the Morning Joe co-hosts, Trump singled out Brzezinski's appearance and mocked her, saying, "Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago [three] nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift."
The tweet sparked intense criticism. MSNBC responded to Trump's attack shortly after in a statement that read: "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."
...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
This is not the first time Trump has spoken of a woman bleeding. Last year, Trump attacked former Fox News host Megyn Kelly and said she had "blood coming out of her wherever" in a statement to CNN. Critics have since condemned the language in Trump's tweets against the Morning Joe co-hosts. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Trump's language was "not appropriate" while Sen Susan Collins of Maine implored, "We don’t have to get along, but we must show respect and civility."