Mika Brzezinski waits for an elevator in the lobby at Trump Tower on Nov. 29, 2016. Photo Credit: AP / Evan Vucci
Those were Twitter messages from Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to Donald Trump on Thursday.
“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 ... 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!”
Amid bipartisan revulsion, it was left to White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders to defend Trump’s tweets as justified because he felt “personally attacked” on the show.
“The American people elected a fighter. ... They knew what they were getting when they voted for Donald Trump,” she said. Odds are he’s not going to stop. See Tom Brune’s story for Newsday.
Sanders’ counterpuncher defense didn’t fly — not for a president with a history of crude insults against women for their appearance and who complained about debate moderator Megyn Kelly in 2015 by saying there “was blood coming out of her wherever.”
“This is not OK,” said Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) “As a female in politics, I am often criticized for my looks. We should be working to empower women.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has tried to avoid criticizing Trump, said, “What we’re trying to do around here is improve the tone, the civility of the debate. And this obviously doesn’t help do that.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) tweeted to Trump, “This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office.”
Democrats, of course, didn’t hold back. Calling the tweet “blatantly sexist,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “It’s really sad. This is the president of the United States. Something’s wrong there.”
First lady Melania Trump said before the election that she would use her position to combat cyberbullying, whose victims “are hurt when they are made fun of or made to feel less in looks or intelligence.”
Nothing has come of that plan. A statement from her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said, “As the First Lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.” But Grisham later added the statement wasn’t an endorsement of Thursday’s tweets.
Obscured by the Twitter turmoil and suspense on the fate of the health care bill was the declared theme of “energy week” at the White House, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.
Rick Perry, the U.S. Energy secretary, said one aim is to “make nuclear energy cool again.” Trump is also pushing a program of deregulation for coal, fracking and fossil fuels to bring about “a golden age of American energy dominance.”
Not in favor: wind energy. Trump long fretted that an offshore wind farm would ruin the views for his golf course in Scotland. He said the turbine blades kill birds.
For years, Trump admired Vladimir Putin from afar. He has since toned it down amid the backdrop of the Russia investigation and clashes such as in Syria, but Trump has never directly criticized his counterpart.
Next week, Trump will meet with Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Germany. White House officials sidestepped reporters’ questions about whether Trump plans to talk to Putin about the Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. See Brune’s story for Newsday.
Before the election, a longtime Republican opposition researcher, Peter W. Smith, mounted an independent campaign to obtain emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server, likely by Russian hackers, The Wall Street Journal (pay site) reported.
In conversations with members of his circle and with others he tried to recruit to help him, Smith implied he was working with retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who was a top Trump adviser, the report said. Smith was interviewed by the Journal before he died May 14 at age 81.