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President Trump angrily lashes out at ‘Morning Joe’ hosts on Twitter

President Trump lashed out at the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in two vicious tweets Thursday morning, calling Mika Brzezinski “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and claiming she had a facelift late last year.

Trump also called Joe Scarborough “Psycho Joe” and said the hosts came to Mar-a-Lago — his private club in Palm Beach, Fla. — three nights in a row around New Year’s Eve “and insisted on joining me.” He claimed that Brzezinski “was bleeding badly from a facelift” at the time and that, “I said no!”

Brzezinski and Scarborough were both spotted at Trump’s New Year’s Eve party, according to pool reports at the time, prompting Scarborough to fire off numerous tweets defending his presence there. At the time, Scarborough said that he and Brzezinski were at the party to set up an interview with the president-elect.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

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..
8:52 AM – 29 Jun 2017

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

…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!
8:58 AM – 29 Jun 2017

Trump’s comments drew immediate condemnation from members of both political parties, with some calling his jabs at Brzezinski beneath the dignity of his office.

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who has long been critical of Trump, tweeted, “Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.” And Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), another Trump critic, tweeted: “Please just stop. This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) weighed in later in the day, tweeting “Stop it! The Presidential platform should be used for more than bringing people down.” She added: “@POTUS, do you want to be remembered for your tweets or your accomplishments?”

Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who usually declines to comment on Trump’s tweets, said Thursday “obviously I don’t see that as an appropriate comment.”

“I think — look, 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,” he said.

[‘Mr. President, please grow up’: Lawmakers slam Trump’s shocking Mika Brzezinski tweets]

But Trump’s aides and allies fiercely defended the president, arguing the “Morning Joe” hosts and their guests frequently criticize Trump and the White House in harsh terms including questioning his mental stability, honesty and fitness for office.

“I don’t think that it’s a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire,” deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Thursday afternoon. She said voters wanted a fighter when they elected Trump and disputed the idea it was distracting from his agenda on issues like health care.

“They didn’t elect somebody to sit back and do nothing,” Sanders said of voters. “They knew what they were getting when they voted for Donald Trump and he won overwhelmingly.”

First lady Melania Trump, who has said she would like to make fighting cyberbullying one of her main focuses, has not publicly reacted to her husband’s tweets. Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the first lady, referred reporters to comments that Melania Trump made on the campaign trail about her husband needing to defend himself, including at an April 2016 rally in Milwaukee, where she said: “When you attack him, he will punch back 10 times harder. No matter who you are, a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal.”

Brzezinski responded on Twitter Thursday morning with a photo of the back of a Cheerios cereal box that reads: “Made for Little Hands.” Brzezinski did not explain what she meant by the tweet, although she seemed to be subtly attacking the president for the size of his hands. Mark Kornblau, the NBCUniversal News Group’s senior vice president for communications, tweeted: “Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, ‘it is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States.’ ”

An MSNBC spokesman said in a statement: “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.”

Trump has long been defensive about the size of his hands, an issue that seemed to start decades ago when Graydon Carter described Trump as a “short-fingered vulgarian” in Spy magazine. Carter, now the editor of Vanity Fair, said that since then, Trump has regularly mailed him tear sheets from magazines with his hands circled in gold Sharpie to highlight the length of his fingers. On the campaign trail, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) brought up the size of Trump’s hands, prompting Trump to defend himself during a debate, saying: “And he referred to my hands — if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you, there is no problem. I guarantee you.”

Trump and the “Morning Joe” hosts have had a roller-coaster relationship. In the early days of his campaign, Brzezinski and Scarborough would regularly allow the candidate to call into their show and speak at length. After Trump’s victory in the New Hampshire primary in February 2016, he called in to the show to say: “You guys have been supporters, and I really appreciate it. And not necessarily supporters, but at least believers. You said there’s some potential there.” When Brzezinski and Scarborough announced their engagement in spring, Scarborough told Vanity Fair that the president had offered to officiate their wedding.

Brzezinski and Scarborough have also both been critical of Trump — and over the past several months, Brzezinski has raised questions about the president’s mental health. She said on the show in March that Trump is “possibly unfit mentally,” and earlier this month, she said the president is “such a narcissist, it’s possible that he is mentally ill in a way.”

During the show Thursday, both hosts raised concerns about the president seeming to sideline Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in favor of allowing his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to act as a de facto secretary of state. Brzezinski said that Trump’s behavior is unlike that of any president before him.

“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 person would be thrown out,” she said. “It’s just not normal behavior. In fact, there would be concern that perhaps the person who runs the company is out of his mind.”

Dan Scavino Jr., who oversees the president’s social media, tweeted in the morning before Trump: “#DumbAsARockMika and lover #JealousJoe are lost, confused & saddened since @POTUS stopped returning their calls! Unhinged.”

The president claims he no longer watches the show, but it remains popular among lawmakers and is usually playing in the gyms where members of Congress work out in the mornings. Guests on Thursday morning included Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) tweeted: “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.”

Some lawmakers said Trump’s attack on Brzezinski was sexist, a charge he had to fight during the campaign at points, including when he criticized Megyn Kelly, then of Fox News, after she questioned him during a debate on his past comments about women. Trump later criticized her during an appearance on CNN and described her as having “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her whatever” during the debate.

“I think it’s blatantly sexist,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said of Trump’s Thursday tweets. “I don’t think there’s any question about it.”

wapo

followed by…
Trump, Scarborough get in Twitter tangle over National Enquirer article

President Donald Trump and “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough sparred on Twitter on Friday over a National Enquirer article, one day after the president was widely condemned by fellow Republicans for crudely tweeting that Mika Brzezinski had a “low I.Q.” and had been “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”

“Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show,” Trump tweeted.

Trump’s latest missive came after Brzezinski and co-host Joe Scarborough wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post, published Friday morning, in which they said the president “is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show.”

They also addressed the issue of a National Enquirer story published in June, writing, “This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked. We ignored their desperate pleas.”

The National Enquirer article — with the headline “Morning Joe Sleazy Cheating Scandal!” — referenced Brzezinski and Scarborough’s romantic relationship, alleging that it started inappropriately while both were married to other people. The couple had recently gone public with their engagement in a Vanity Fair article published in May.

Scarborough quickly fought back on Twitter Friday morning, responding to Trump, “Yet another lie. I have texts from your top aides and phone records. Also, those records show I haven’t spoken with you in many months.”

He went on to write, “Why do you keep lying about things that are so easily disproven? What is wrong with you?”

An MSNBC spokesperson said on Friday that they had no current plans to release copies of the texts.

Brzezinski and Scarborough further discussed the National Enquirer article on their show Friday morning, with Scarborough saying they received multiple threats around the publication of the piece.

“We got a call that, ‘Hey, the National Enquirer is going to run a negative story against you guys.’ And it was, you know, ‘Donald is friends with … the guy that runs the National Enquirer.’ And they said, ‘If you call the president up and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike this story,’” Scarborough said.

The co-hosts went on to detail how their children and close friends also received calls pressuring them about the potential publication of the story.

According to a White House official, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner was in touch with Scarborough about the story. Kushner and Scarborough are known to regularly communicate, and according to Vanity Fair, it was Kushner who helped broker a meeting earlier this year between Scarborough, Brzezinski and Trump in the aftermath of a tweet from last summer in which Trump threatened to “tell the real story” about their relationship.

An NBC spokesperson, however, declined to confirm reports on Friday that it was Kushner who told Scarborough to apologize to the president in order to get the story spiked.

Dylan Howard, the chief content officer of American Media Inc., the publisher of National Enquirer, issued a statement Friday morning denying that the media outlet engaged in any threats around the publication of the article. He also denied any knowledge of conversations between the White House and the “Morning Joe” co-hosts.

“At the beginning of June we accurately reported a story that recounted the relationship between Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the truth of which is not in dispute,” Howard said. “At no time did we threaten either Joe or Mika or their children in connection with our reporting on the story. We have no knowledge of any discussions between the White House and Joe and Mika about our story, and absolutely no involvement in those discussions.”

The National Enquirer has long been a booster for the president, and its publisher, David Pecker, has a close relationship with Trump. A recent New Yorker profile laid out Pecker’s allegiances to Trump and how his magazine “embraced Trump with sycophantic fervor.”

In a second statement, Howard said Pecker has no influence on editorial decisions, despite detailed scenes in the New Yorker profile where Pecker denied his staff’s suggestions to cover First Lady Melania Trump swatting away her husband’s hand during a foreign trip — an instance that was not covered by the magazine that normally fills its pages with such little dramas.

“AMI does not comment on rumor and speculation,” Howard said. “While Mr. Pecker is actively engaged in ensuring that The National ENQUIRER has the resources necessary to deliver the strongest possible product at newsstand, editorial decisions are made by the publications editors who are well-attuned to what their readers want.”

politi’d’oh

oh we are not done yet people
What Really Happened Between Donald Trump, the Hosts of Morning Joe, and the National Enquirer

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump used his close alliance with the National Enquirer to attack his enemies. Now that he’s President, he’s continuing to benefit from the tabloid’s support.

This morning in a Washington Post op-ed, Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski disclosed that White House officials offered to spike an Enquirer story about their romance if the pair apologized to Trump for the show’s critical coverage. In recent months, Scarborough and Brzezinski have questioned Trump’s mental state and fitness for office. They elaborated on the op-ed on MSNBC this morning. Morning Joe regular Donny Deutsch said it was “blackmail” for Trump to use a hit-piece in the Enquirer to extract an apology from media critics. Trump then tweeted a quasi-confirmation of the behind-the-scenes conversations, saying that Scarborough called to enlist his help to kill the story. Scarborough called Trump’s version a “lie,” tweeting that he never spoke to the president.

According to three sources familiar with the private conversations, what happened was this: After the inauguration, Morning Joe’s coverage of Trump turned sharply negative. “This presidency is fake and failed,” Brzezinski said on March 6, for example. Around this time, Scarborough and Brzezinski found out the Enquirer was preparing a story about their affair. While Scarborough and Brzezinski’s relationship had been gossiped about in media circles for some time, it was not yet public, and the tabloid was going to report that they had left their spouses to be together.

In mid-April, Scarborough texted with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner about the pending Enquirer story. Kushner told Scarborough that he would need to personally apologize to Trump in exchange for getting Enquirer owner David Pecker to stop the story. (A spokesperson for Kushner declined to comment). Scarborough says he refused, and the Enquirer published the story in print on June 5, headlined “Morning Joe Sleazy Cheating Scandal!”

The Morning Joe co-hosts decided to talk about the episode a day after Trump inaccurately tweeted that Brzezinski attended a New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” (A photo from that evening backs up Scarborough and Brzezinski’s denial of this.) While the Enquirer denies that Trump encouraged Pecker to investigate the MSNBC hosts, Trump himself has pushed the story publicly. Last August, he tweeted, “Some day, when things calm down, I’ll tell the real story of @JoeNBC and his very insecure long-time girlfriend, @morningmika. Two clowns!”

In a statement, Enquirer editor Dylan Howard said: “We have no knowledge of any discussions between the White House and Joe and Mika about our story, and absolutely no involvement in those discussions.”

nymag

Source: ONTD_Political

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