Donald Trump has doubled down on his attack on Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski, calling the television journalist “dumb as a rock”, and her show “low rated”.
“Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!” the President tweeted.
The tweet comes just one day after Mr Trump drew widespread criticism for attacking Ms Brzezinski’s appearance. In a Thursday morning Twitter storm, the President alleged she and co-host Joe Scarborough had “insisted” on visiting his south Florida estate. He also claimed Ms Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” at the time.
Democrats and Republicans alike decried the tweet as sexist and inappropriate.
“This is not ok”, tweeted Republican Senator Lynn Jenkins. “As a female in politics I am often criticised for my looks. We should be working to empower women.”
The hosts themselves responded with an op-ed in The Washington Post, accusing Mr Trump of being “unwell”. They also claimed the President was the instigator of the Mar-a-Lago visit, and that the White House had attempted to blackmail them with a negative National Enquirer story.
Mr Trump says the hosts called him in an attempt to stop the story.
Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
In an appearance on Morning Joe the next day, Ms Brzezinski said she was “fine”, and that “my family brought me up really tough”.
“This is absolutely nothing for me personally,” she added. “But I’m very concerned about what this once again reveals about the President of the United States.”
The TV host expanded on her comments in an interview withInStyle, insinuating that First Lady Melania Trump – who is said to be working on an anti-cyberbullying campaign – wanted out of her marriage.
“I know Melania. I haven’t talked to her in months, but if my gut is right, I don’t think she’s going to put up with it much longer,” Ms Brzezinski said. “I know nothing. That’s just my instinct and I go with my gut and my gut’s always right.”
Ms Trump responded with a short statement, saying simply: “It is sad when people try to further their own agenda by commenting on me and my family, especially when they don’t know me.”
The comments are part of a long and tumultuous relationship between Mr Trump and the hosts, who frequently welcomed the businessman as a guest on their programme during his presidential bid.
When the Morning Joe commentary turned negative toward Mr Trump, however, he lashed out, calling Ms Brzezinski “crazy” and “very dumb” and accusing her of having a “mental breakdown”.
“I don’t watch or do @Morning_Joe anymore”, he tweeted in August. “Small audience, low ratings! I hear Mika has gone wild with hate.”