Morning Joe hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough had planned to take Friday off to start their July 4 vacation early—but that was before they became part of a President Trump controversy. Sources tell the New York Daily News that the hosts stayed an extra day to fire back at Trump, who described Brzezinski as "bleeding badly from a face-lift" in widely condemned tweets early Thursday. In a Washington Post op-ed early Friday, the MSNBC hosts urge Trump to stop watching their show, saying they don't believe he is "mentally equipped for it." "The president's unhealthy obsession with Morning Joe does not serve the best interests of either his mental state or the country he runs," they write.
The hosts give a very different version of the encounter Trump described in his tweets, saying Mika "reluctantly" met Trump briefly at Mar-a-Lago on Dec. 31, but turned down his invitation to a New Year's Eve party. "Putting aside Mr. Trump's never-ending obsession with women's blood," photos show that her face was "perfectly intact." Mika has never had a face-lift, they add, though it is "hardly a state secret" that she has had "a little skin under her chin tweaked." The real issue, they write, is that Trump "is setting the poorest of standards for our children" with his "continued mistreatment of women." In other developments:
- The remarks, which were defended by Melania Trump and White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, drew some of the loudest—and most bipartisan—condemnation of Trump's presidency, with numerous Republican lawmakers joining Democrats in calling Trump's remarks unacceptable, the AP reports. In their op-ed, the hosts say they are heartened by the response from GOP figures, and they hope women in Trump's life will follow suit.
- Late-night hosts including Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers also weighed in Thursday, with Meyers introducing a new "I Can't" segment, saying he had been left speechless by the "vicious and cruel" remarks. Colbert said he hadn't realized it was still possible for him to be shocked by something Trump said, Mediaite reports. He read out headlines calling the tweets a "new low" before quipping: "No, it's the same low."