President Trump on Thursday assailed the television host Mika Brzezinski in unusually personal and vulgar terms, the latest of a string of escalating attacks by the president on the national news media.
Shortly before 9 a.m., as Ms. Brzezinski’s MSNBC show “Morning Joe” was ending, Mr. Trump used Twitter to taunt Ms. Brzezinski and her co-host, Joe Scarborough, referring to them as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe” and saying that at one point Ms. Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.’’
Mr. Trump has launched broadsides this week against several of the country’s major television networks and newspapers, accusing the press of creating “fake news” and of unfairly fixating on his campaign’s links to Russian officials. At the White House, the president’s deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on national television that Americans “deserve something better” from the country’s media.
The graphic nature of the president’s suggestion that Ms. Brzezinski had undergone plastic surgery was met with immediate criticism on social media. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wrote on Twitter, “Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.” And a spokesman for NBC News, Mark Kornblau, wrote on Twitter: “Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, ‘It is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States.”
In a statement on Thursday morning, MSNBC said: “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.”