President Donald Trump this morning attacked MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, with the White House subsequently saying that Trump has the right to “hit back” against his critics. So what, exactly, ocurred on Morning Joe today that set Trump off and inspired him to publicly call Brzezinski stupid and accuse her of getting a face-lift?
One segment that may have lead to Trump’s tweets came when the MSNBC panel was discussing the recent story that Trump had put up fake TIME Magazine covers of himself at his golf courses. Mika Brzezinski said, “Nothing makes a man feel better than making a fake cover of a magazine about himself, lying every day and destroying the country.”
Later in that same segment, it was pointed out that Trump’s hands were mostly covered in the TIME Magazine cover. Brzezinski then said, “He’s covering his hands here because they’re teensy.”
In another segment on the show, Mika Brzezinski suggested that Trump is out of his mind, saying that if someone in a position of power at a private company acted the way Trump does, they would be fired.
“Let’s say someone came into NBC and took over NBC, and started tweeting wildly about people’s appearances, bullying people, talking about people in the competition, lying every day, undermining his managers, throwing them under the [bus] — that person would be thrown out,” Brzezinski said, according to Raw Story. “It’s just not normal behavior. In fact, there would be concerns that the person who runs the company is out of his mind.”
Brzezinski also said that Trump’s staffers seem like they’re “lobotomized” because they’re too scared to stand up to the president.
It’s unclear whether Trump was actually watching Morning Joe today or whether he simply heard about the comments from his staff. It may have been White House Director of Social Media and Assistant to the President Dan Scavino who told Trump about Brzezinski’s statements; after all, Scavino tweeted about Morning Joe 40 minutes before Trump did, calling Brzezinski “dumb as a rock.”
But nothing Mika Brzezinski said today was really all that different from comments she has made on other recent shows. In fact, earlier this week, Brzezinski said that Trump seemed to be leading the United States down the path to dictatorship. The president did not respond to this.
“It does feel like a developing dictatorship,” Brzezinski said, according to the Washington Examiner. “…[Y]ou can do some work reading history, and reading books about how dictatorships happen, the development of very negative forces taking over. And what you are seeing is either this, happening right now, or someone who’s not well. There’s very few options.”
Comments made from the White House this morning suggest that Trump may not have been responding to anything specific, with White House officials instead pointing to a wide variety of personal attacks coming from the Morning Joe anchors.
Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Fox News, “I don’t think that the president’s ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t push back…I mean the outrageous attacks that take place on that show day in and day out, not just at the president, and not against his policies, not against things that he’s pushing, but they’re personal, and they’re not just directed at him, but again everyone around him.”