President Trump was almost immediately condemned for his crudely personal attack on Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski Thursday morning — and some of the most biting comments came from fellow Republicans.
Trump, 70, took to Twitter early Thursday morning with a series of insults aimed at Brzezinski and her cohost/fiancé Joe Scarborough.
“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 wrote. “She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
Republican senators including Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse and John McCain quickly rebuked the president for his remarks, expressing both revulsion and disbelief.
“Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America,” Graham tweeted.
“Please just stop. This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office,” tweeted Sasse.
McCain, meanwhile, said that “I’m just embarrassed–embarrassed isn’t the right word–I just regret it,” according to NBC News producer Frank Thorp V.
Onetime presidential election opponent Jeb Bush also weighed in on Twitter, as did Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also addressed Trump’s tweets during a morning press conference: “Obviously I don’t see that as an appropriate comment. Look, what we are trying to do around here is improve the tone and civility of the debate, and this obviously doesn’t help do that.”
Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders also addressed the tweets during an afternoon press conference Thursday.
When she was asked whether the president went too far in his tweets this morning, she replied, “I don’t think so. I think that the president has been attacked mercilessly on personal accounts by members on that program and I think he’s been very clear that when he gets attacked he’s going to hit back.”
Later, she also pushed back when asked whether this is another example of Trump attacking women.
“Look, everybody wants to make this an attack on a woman. What about the constant attacks that he receives or the rest of us? I’m a woman and I’ve been attacked by this show multiple times, but I don’t cry foul because of it,” she said.
Trump’s morning rant was also a hot topic on Thursday morning TV.
“Aren’t you beaming with national pride?” Joy Behar asked after Whoopi Goldberg, with a grimace and a dejected sigh, opened The View by reading Trump’s tweets aloud. Addressing Trump, Goldberg added, “Dude, you really need to get your act together.”
And Behar countered that Trump has no business questioning anyone’s I.Q.
“He didn’t even know Frederick Douglass was dead. And then he doesn’t even know how to spell ‘tap.’ He is the one who’s not that bright,” Behar fumed.
Their comments were echoed on social media, with many pointing out that this isn’t Trump’s first attack on female journalists.
“Trump’s most vicious, personal attacks are always saved for women,” wrote one user.
Check out more social media reactions below:
Watch: Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack
Brzezinski, daughter of esteemed diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski, also tweeted an apparent response to Trump: a photo of a Cheerios box with the headline “Made for Little Hands.”
Scarborough also retweeted several deeply critical comments of Trump, while MSNBC also issued an official response to the president’s statements.
“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,” the company responded on a statement posted on Twitter.