Mika Brzezinski Says Childhood Mischief with Jimmy Carter's Daughter Almost Started 'International Disaster'

The Morning Joe co-host, whose father was an adviser to President Carter, tells Kelly Clarkson she got into trouble sometimes as a kid — like when she and Amy Carter hit a world leader with a golf cart

Mika Brzezinski, Amy Carter
Mika Brzezinski, Amy Carter. Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty; Dennis Cook/AP

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, is opening up about some of her less graceful moments growing up in the vicinity of world leaders — and the "international disaster" she and childhood friend Amy Carter almost created during the famed Camp David Accords.

Brzezinski — whose father, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was the national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter — told Kelly Clarkson a couple of stories about her younger years as a fly on the wall in the Carter administration on Wednesday's episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show.

"With Amy Carter it was at Camp David during the peace accord and we were trying to ride a golf cart," Brzezinski, now 55, said, "and we were way underage to be driving anything, and I hit the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin with the golf cart."

The Israeli prime minister was at Camp David in secret, to negotiate peace agreements with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The ultimately successful negotiations, mediated by President Carter, contributed to all three world leaders becoming Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Brzezinski added, of her role in spicing up the high-stakes moment in history, "Luckily I didn't kill him, just nicked him."

"Nicked him?!" Clarkson responded, laughing in shock.

"There were many disasters," Brzezinski said, before telling another story — this time not involving then-first daughter Amy — about her brush with the leader of China.

"We had Deng Xiaoping, the leader of China, over to our house for a state dinner in The Plains, Virginia, at our farmhouse, and I was serving caviar and I tripped and spilled it on his lap," she said. "And then, I tried to wipe it off." (At this point in the story, a member of the audience yelled, "No!")

"The secretary of state was next to him going, 'Oh, just stop. Just stop,'" Brzezinski continued. "Disaster after disaster growing up Brzezinski. International disaster."

US National Security Advisor Dr Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928 - 2017) (left) speaks with US President Jimmy Carter in the White House's Oval Office, Washington DC, January 21, 1977.
Zbigniew Brzezinski speaks with President Jimmy Carter in the Oval Office. White House via CNP/Getty

Brzezinski called into The Kelly Clarkson Show to discuss Know Your Value and Forbes' 50 Over 50 list, two ongoing projects of hers.

The Know Your Value initiative, based on Brzezinski's book by the same name, aims to build a community of women who are equipped to advocate for themselves and reach their full potential, by providing tools that can be applied in job interviews, promotional conversations and everyday situations.

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Forbes' 50 Over 50 list is sponsored by Know Your Value as an alternative to Forbes' famed 30 Under 30 list. Brzezinski, who helped create it, called it "an incredible message for younger women."

"What I would've loved to have told my younger self is that we have a long runway," Brzezinski told Clarkson, adding that creating the list "showed me that there are many women having an amazing impact and making a lot of money well after 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90."

She continued: "The message for younger women is: You've got a long runway. We've paved it for you, so you can relax and enjoy the moment and slow down. And try to do things right. And make those mistakes, and experience those experiences, and be there for them, so that each one can build upon the other."

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