On Thursday, the hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe criticized Donald Trump's use of Twitter on the show. Shortly afterward, Trump attacked host Mika Brzezinski in two sexist tweets that have rapidly earned a significant amount of backlash. In his tweets, Trump referred to Brzezinski and her co-host, Joe Scarborough, as "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and "Psycho Joe," respectively, and went on to write that Brzezinski was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" while visiting Mar-a-Lago.
Trump's attack on Brzezinski was met with criticism from lawmakers and journalists alike. Indeed, MSNBC's communication team did not hold back its response to Trump's tweets. "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," the network posted on Twitter.
Meghan McCain, a media personality and the daughter of Arizona Sen. John McCain, described Trump's tweets as "cruel" and "unpresidential," remarking that "making fun of a woman's looks" is unacceptable.
Members of the GOP also responded to Trump, including some of his most frequent critics. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted that Trump's comments were "beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics," while Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse asked the president to "please just stop."
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
House Speaker Paul Ryan, meanwhile, responded to the president's tweets during his weekly news conference. "Obviously I don't see that as an appropriate comment," Ryan said. "We are trying to improve the tone and civility of the debate, and this obviously does not do that."
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.— MSNBCPR (@MSNBCPR) June 29, 2017
I do not think making fun of a woman's looks is acceptable. I get it every day of my life. I think that tweet is cruel - and unpresidential— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) June 29, 2017
2. Trump's most vicious, personal attacks are always saved for women. Here he calls Mika Brzezinski stupid, crazy and mocks her face— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) 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
Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office.— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 29, 2017
If you can't stifle the press, then you attack them personally. Today's tweets from Donald Trump are unpresidential and warrant an apology.— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) June 29, 2017
Women in politics also took the time to empathize with Brzezinski and criticize Trump.
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
This has to stop – we all have a job – 3 branches of gov’t and media. We don’t have to get along, but we must show respect and civility.— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) June 29, 2017
In an interview with Fox News, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the president's tweets, even as Fox anchor Bill Hemmer questioned them.
"I don't think that the president has ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn't push back," Sanders told Hemmer. "This is a president who fights fire with fire and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by liberal media, and the liberal elites within the media."
Trump's tweets about Brzezinski echoed his previous attacks on both women and the media. Following a Republican debate in 2015, Trump told CNN's Don Lemon that then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her wherever" and dismissed her questions as "ridiculous" and "off-base." When he was a businessman, Trump routinely mocked Rosie O'Donnell's looks, and as a presidential candidate, he mocked Carly Fiorina's looks.
As for Brzezinski, she had the perfect response to Trump's tweets — and she didn't even need to say anything.