WASHINGTON — After President Donald Trump’s latest personal attacks on them, MSNBC “Morning Joe” hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough called his actions “unmoored behavior” in an opinion piece published Friday in the Washington Post.
The cable hosts wrote that it would be “better for America” if he watched “Fox and Friends” instead — a reference to their Trump-friendly morning rivals.
Trump indeed did watch “Morning Joe” Friday — after saying Thursday he stopped viewing the show — and made it harder to see how he wants to focus on policy when he took on the show’s hosts over whether he could help kill a negative National Enquirer story.
Trump wrote on Twitter: “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”
Brzezinski called it “unbelievably alarming that this president is so easily played by a cable news host.”
She and Scarborough discussed Trump’s latest Twitter uproar on the air, coming in on a day there were planning to take off.
“He just ends up hurting himself,” Scarborough said.
Brzezinski laughed off Trump writing about a bloody “facelift” saying, “I had my chin tweaked…I am pretty transparent about what I do…and I think it looks awesome.”
Scarborough talked about how three “top” White House staffers kept urging him to call Trump to ask the president to get a negative National Enquirer story spiked.
Saying Trump has a “disturbing obsession with Mika,” Scarborough said he was told by the unnamed White House staffers that Trump is “friends with the guy who runs the National Enquirer, and they said if you call the president up and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike the story.”
He added, “It’s blackmail.”
The National Enquirer’s owner is Trump friend David Pecker.
The Brzezinski/Scarborough Washington Post column was headlined, “Donald Trump is not well.” It came after Trump insulted the MSNBC hosts in two Thursday morning Twitter posts — one focused on her looks, touching off a backlash from Republicans who said they were beneath the dignity of the office.
The “Morning Joe” hosts have been strong critics of Trump, though they have been chummier in the past.
In two Thursday morning Twitter posts, Trump wrote: “I heard poorly rated 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. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that Trump is “not going to sit back and be attacked by the liberal media, Hollywood elites. And when they hit him, he’s going to hit back.”
Here are some excerpts from the MSNBC hosts’ Washington Post column:
“The president’s unhealthy obsession with our show has been in the public record for months, and we are seldom surprised by his posting nasty tweets about us…This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked. We ignored their desperate pleas.
“Despite his constant claims that he no longer watches the show, the president’s closest advisers tell us otherwise. That is unfortunate. We believe it would be better for America and the rest of the world if he would keep his 60-inch-plus flat-screen TV tuned to “Fox & Friends.”
“Mr. Trump claims that we asked to join him at Mar-a-Lago three nights in a row. That is false. He also claimed that he refused to see us. That is laughable.
“The president-elect invited us both to dinner on Dec. 30. Joe attended because Mika did not want to go. After listening to the president-elect talk about his foreign policy plans, Joe was asked by a disappointed Mr. Trump the next day if Mika could also visit Mar-a-Lago that night. She reluctantly agreed to go. After we arrived, the president-elect pulled us into his family’s living quarters with his wife, Melania, where we had a pleasant conversation. We politely declined his repeated invitations to attend a New Year’s Eve party, and we were back in our car within 15 minutes.
“Mr. Trump also claims that Mika was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” That is also a lie. Putting aside Mr. Trump’s never-ending obsession with women’s blood, Mika and her face were perfectly intact, as pictures from that night reveal. And though it is no one’s business, the president’s petulant personal attack against yet another woman’s looks compels us to report that Mika has never had a face-lift. If she had, it would be evident to anyone watching “Morning Joe” on their high-definition TV. She did have a little skin under her chin tweaked, but this was hardly a state secret. Her mother suggested she do so, and all those around her were aware of this mundane fact.
“More significant is Mr. Trump’s continued mistreatment of women. It is disturbing that the president of the United States keeps up his unrelenting assault on women. From his menstruation musings about Megyn Kelly, to his fat-shaming treatment of a former Miss Universe, to his braggadocio claims about grabbing women’s genitalia, the 45th president is setting the poorest of standards for our children.”