The White House has made one thing clear: Tweets from the account of @realDonaldTrump are official statements from our nation’s highest office.
With that in mind, on Thursday, the president of the United States released an official statement flaying MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, savagely attacking both her appearance and her intelligence in an early-morning Twitter ambush.
“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 …,” Trump wrote in one tweet. Then he continued: “… 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!”
For many Republicans, who generally have remained silent as Trump has mocked and maligned a host of politicians, celebrities and critics, this was a tweet too far.
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To her credit, Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas was among the first to weigh in. “This is not okay. As a female in politics I am often criticized for my looks. We should be working to empower women,” Jenkins tweeted.
Rep. Kevin Yoder also spoke out: “I don’t believe the President’s tweets this morning Make America Great Again.”
Well said. Sexist, mean-spirited ad hominem tirades should be condemned across the political spectrum. Words matter, and the president’s words matter even more. Trump should be held to a higher standard, but he continues to lower the bar for political discourse.
Amazingly, it was daughter Ivanka Trump who recently bemoaned the “viciousness” of D.C. politics. She should listen to her father more often. For her part, first lady Melania Trump should rethink her pledge to combat cyberbullying. She has enough work to do on that front in her own home.
The president, of course, should focus his attention on actual issues. On a day when Congress was debating controversial immigration legislation, the president’s travel ban was set to go into effect and Republican senators were struggling to overhaul health care, Trump had plenty on his plate.
Thursday morning is only the latest example of Trump wielding Twitter as a weapon, firing cannon blasts at anyone who nicks his thin skin. This time he crossed the line, diminishing the presidency in his race to the bottom.
Predictably, the White House offered no regrets, declaring that voters elected a fighter. Perhaps. But even Trump supporters thought they were electing a president who would fight for the American people — not a president who would just fight people.
Voters and elected officials of all political stripes should stand firmly against such incivility.