One day after President Trump tweeted a controversial statement attacking Mika Brzezinski's intelligence and appearance, the Morning Joe co-host is speaking out about the whole ordeal.
The MSNBC journalist started off by penning an op-ed in The Washington Post with her fiancé and co-host Joe Scarborough, who also was attacked by Trump on Twitter. In it, the couple said: "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."
She then discussed the incident on Morning Joe's Friday edition and gave an exclusive interview to Vanity Fair.
The controversy began on Thursday morning when President Trump called Brzezinski "low I.Q. crazy Mika" and Scarborough "psycho Joe." But the real kicker was when he tweeted she "was bleeding badly from a face-lift" when she visited Mar-a-Lago during New Year's Eve.
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
The tweets caused almost universal outrage — almost being the operative word. Rival networks showed support for the couple, and Republicans such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski condemned the shocking statements.
Brzezinski is far from being the only female journalist that Trump has attacked recently. In fact, Thursday's tweet was not even the first time the president had badmouthed the host: Last August, he tweeted Brzezinski was a "neurotic and not very bright mess." (She told Vanity Fair that Trump apologized for those statements last year.)
Brzezinski and Scarborough also alleged in their Post op-ed that top White House aides warned them The National Enquirer planned to publish a negative article about them unless they called Trump and apologized for criticizing him on Morning Joe. The outlet denies having any knowledge of the alleged conversation between the hosts and the White House.
However, the president fueled the flames by tweeting on Friday that Scarborough had allegedly called him "to stop a National Enquirer article," but didn't provide any more details. (The host says this is a lie.)
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
During their show, Brzezinski and Scarborough also discussed the tweets and what they thought the posts reveal about President Trump.
"I’m fine. My family brought me up really tough. This is absolutely nothing for me personally. But I am very concerned about what this once again reveals about the president of the United States. It’s strange," she said, before adding, "It does worry me about the country."
But while Brzezinski received an overwhelming amount of support from people who were horrified by the president's deeply personal attack, there were those who rejoiced on the shock value of his unfiltered tweets.
Spurred by Trump's tweets against Brzezinski, Susan Chira, The New York Times' gender issues senior correspondent and editor, explored in her column "Who Likes Trump's Tweets and Why" the reasons behind the president's sexist actions and how it's perceived by his base.
"He can’t stand to be criticized, especially by a woman, and he can’t stop himself from lashing out," Christine Matthews, a Republican strategist and president of Bellwether Research, told Chira. "There is no strategic audience he is winking and nodding to. However there is a segment of his base that enjoys his political incorrectness — even at this extreme — and I would say his misogyny. They are not the majority of his supporters, but they are his most fervent."
That segment, according to polls referenced by Matthews, is mostly composed by men who are threatened by women in power and the advancement of gender equality in the last decades.
President Trump is not one to let go of his grudges, and it seems that Brzezinski and Scarborough won't back down either. Whether anyone will learn from this mess of misogyny, attacks on the media, and questions about the dignity of the Oval Office remains to be seen. One thing is for sure: It has once again diverted attention from other important national matters.