‘Morning Joe’ hosts respond to Trump’s attacks
ABC News(NEW YORK) — On Friday morning, MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough addressed President Donald Trump’s Twitter attack against them to their viewers on Morning Joe. The on-air response disrupted the hosts’ long-standing plans to go on vacation.
Brzezinski started by thanking those who have reached out to her and her family following the incident, saying she is OK and continuing: “My family brought me up really tough. This is absolutely nothing.”
She said her larger concerns lie with the problems the attacks pose for the country.
“I am very concerned as to what this once again reveals about the president of the United States,” she said. “It’s strange.”
Scarborough echoed Brzezinski’s remarks, stating, “We’re OK. The country is not.” He continued by saying that Trump’s attacks are “much more vicious with women” because “he fears women.”
Scarborough put the tweets in the context of their national implications, warning, “This is one of the most dangerous times in recent American history, and we have a president who is attacking a cable news host because she dared make a joke about a Time magazine cover.”
The host and former congressman said his worries go beyond questioning the president’s judgments and these actions may be a reflection of Trump’s well-being. He said that “somebody at the top of his campaign last summer said to me, we’re all really worried about his emotional state.”
Brzezinski and Scarborough co-penned an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post on Friday in response to Trump’s Twitter attacks against them in which they question his mental state and whether he’s fit to serve.
“President Trump launched personal attacks against us Thursday, but our concerns about his unmoored behavior go far beyond the personal,” the show hosts write. “America’s leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whether this man is fit to be president. We have our doubts, but we are both certain that the man is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show, Morning Joe.”
The hosts denied the claim made in Trump’s tweets on Thursday that he turned down Brzezinski and Scarborough’s requests to join him at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida residence, and called his assertion that Brzezinski was bleeding from a facelift a “lie.”
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
In the editorial, Brzezinski and Scarborough said they “are seldom surprised by his posting nasty tweets about us.”
The two said they stand by their coverage of Trump and his presidency, and argue that the president has an “unhealthy obsession” with their show.
“We have known Mr. Trump for more than a decade and have some fond memories of our relationship together,” they write. “But that hasn’t stopped us from criticizing his abhorrent behavior or worrying about his fitness.”
They add that it is “disturbing” that Trump has continued “his unrelenting assault on women.”
“We were heartened to hear a number of Republican lawmakers call out Mr. Trump for his offensive words and can only hope that the women who are closest to him will follow their examples,” Brzezinski and Scarborough write, seemingly pointing toward first lady Melania Trump and President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.
“It would be the height of hypocrisy to claim the mantle of women’s empowerment while allowing a family member to continue such abusive conduct,” the co-hosts continue.
On Thursday, the White House and the first lady stood by the president’s tweets.
“I think that the president is pushing back against people who attack him day after day after day,” White House principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during Thursday’s press briefing. “The president has been attacked mercilessly on personal accounts by people on that program.”
In a 2016 speech, Melania Trump said that as first lady she would fight cyberbullying, declaring that “our culture has gotten too mean and too rough.”
Brzezinski and Scarborough also revealed in the editorial that the tabloid magazine the National Enquirer was prepared to publish “a negative article” on the two hosts.
Scarborough alleged that three White House staffers called him, telling him, “If you call the president up and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike this story.”
According to the president’s Twitter account, Scarborough “called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no!” Trump tweeted later Friday morning.
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
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2017
Scarborough fired back, calling Trump’s tweet “yet another lie” and said he has texts from the president’s top aides and phone records, which he said also prove he and Trump haven’t spoken “in many months.”
In a statement, the National Enquirer denied any knowledge or involvement in the alleged conversations between the White House and the two 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. 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.”
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