By CHRISTOPHER MELE
© 2017 New York Times News Service
Mika Brzezinski, a co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said Friday morning that President Donald Trump’s tweets targeting her betrayed “a fragile, childlike ego” that was a profound concern.Brzezinski said she believed the tweets were in response to a segment on the show that addressed fake Time magazine covers that Trump had made up and displayed at his country clubs.
She said she knew he would be “tweaked” by the joking but that it was “unbelievably alarming that this president is so easily played.”
Her co-host, Joe Scarborough, said: “We’re OK. The country’s not.”
In a pair of tweets on Thursday, the president described Brzezinski as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and claimed that she had been “bleeding badly from a face-lift” during a social gathering at Trump’s resort in Florida around New Year’s Eve.
In an op-ed in The Washington Post on Friday, Brzezinski and Scarborough said Trump’s tweets represented a “continued mistreatment of women.”
“It is disturbing that the president of the United States keeps up his unrelenting assault on women,” they wrote. “From his menstruation musings about Megyn Kelly, to his fat-shaming treatment of a former Miss Universe, to his braggadocio claims about grabbing women’s genitalia, the 45th president is setting the poorest of standards for our children.”
The White House did not explain what had prompted Trump’s outburst, but a spokeswoman said Brzezinski deserved a rebuke because of her show’s harsh stance on Trump.
On Friday morning, Brzezinski and Scarborough, who are engaged to be married, focused the discussion on what they said was the president’s “vicious” attacks on women.
In their op-ed and on the air on Friday, the hosts said top members of the White House warned them that The National Enquirer planned to publish a negative article about them unless they called the president to have the story shelved.
Scarborough said they were repeatedly told that if they called the president and apologized for their coverage, Trump would intervene on their behalf. “We ignored their desperate pleas,” they wrote.
After the show aired, the fight moved to Twitter. Trump fired a volley, tweeting that he had watched the “low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time” and called it “FAKE NEWS.”
Referring to Scarborough, he wrote: “He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show”
Scarborough responded within minutes, denying Trump’s claim.