Top Republican lawmakers on Thursday denounced President Donald Trump’s attack on “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski, who he tweeted had been “bleeding badly from a face-lift” during a recent trip to his Mar-a-Lago estate.
“Obviously, I don’t see that as an appropriate comment,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said. “What we’re trying to do around here is improve the tone and the civility of the debate, and this obviously doesn’t help do that.”
Earlier Thursday, Trump lobbed an extraordinarily personal attack at Brzezinski, the cohost of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” as well as Joe Scarborough, a fellow cohost and Brzezinski’s fiancé.
“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,” Trump tweeted. “She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
While the White House defended Trump’s comment, Republicans were swift to denounce the rhetoric that emerged from the nation’s commander in chief.
“Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tweeted.
Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska tweeted: “Please just stop. This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office.”
“This has to stop — we all have a job — 3 branches of gov’t and media,” Sen. Susan Collins of Maine tweeted. “We don’t have to get along, but we must show respect and civility.”
Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma echoed his colleagues with his own scathing statement: “National and local leaders, including our president, should model civility, honour, and respect in our political rhetoric. The president’s tweets today don’t help our political or national discourse and do not provide a positive role model for our national dialogue.”
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said Americans needed senators to be focused on healthcare and tax reform, “not Twitter fights and cable news.”
Rep. Lynne Jenkins of Kansas said Trump’s tweet was “not ok.”
“As a female in politics I am often criticised for my looks,” she said. “We should be working to empower women.”
Jeb Bush, Trump’s former opponent for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and President George W. Bush’s brother, tweeted “Inappropriate. Undignified. Unpresidential.” in response to Trump’s tweet.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, said on Fox News on Thursday morning that Trump was a president “who fights fire with fire.”
“I’ve seen far worse things come out of that show,” Sanders said, referring to “Morning Joe.”
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