World

Trump slammed after hateful Twitter outburst against TV host

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump unleashed a personal attack Thursday on television host Mika Brzezinski, sparking a ferocious backlash.

Mr Trump's Twitter outburst appeared to have been triggered by Ms Brzezinski's sharp comments during her MSNBC morning show with co-host Joe Scarborough.

"I heard poorly rated @Morning-Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore)," wrote Mr Trump.

"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!"

Recently, Mr Trump has escalated his attacks on US media outlets - which he calls "fake news" - harping on CNN's retraction of a story about his administration's supposed Russian links and assailing cable networks, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

But the vulgarity of his latest assault triggered a torrent of criticism, including from within his own party.

"Inappropriate. Undignified. Unpresidential," tweeted Mr Jeb Bush, Mr Trump's rival for the White House nomination last year, while the top Republican on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Paul Ryan, conceded the comments were "not appropriate".

"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," Mr Ryan told reporters.

At least half a dozen Republican lawmakers also spoke up. "Please just stop," wrote Senator Ben Sasse on Twitter. "This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office."

But Mr Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders was staunch in defending her boss. "I think that the president has been attacked mercilessly on personal accounts by members on that programme, and I think he's been very clear that when he gets attacked, he's going to hit back," she told the daily White House briefing.

Ms Brzezinski's employer MSNBC sprang to her defence, tweeting: "It's a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job."

Yesterday, both MSNBC hosts rejected Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago claims in a Washington Post opinion piece, adding that Ms Brzezinski has "never had a face-lift". - AFP

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