While we were all getting ready for work, the president of the United States was bullying a journalist on Twitter. Let that sink in for a moment because that's the reality we live in.
On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump went after MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in his typical crude and below-the-belt style. True to his sexist soul, he saved the most graphic of his attacks for Brzezinski, calling her "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and describing her as "bleeding badly from a face lift."
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..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
...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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
"Nothing that Mika and I did in setting up this meeting was any different than what all good reporters and news hosts try to do daily," he explained.
The "Morning Joe" co-hosts, despite a previously friendly relationship with the president, have been hard-hitting critics of Trump's administration, and The New York Times reported that the president had been "fuming for weeks" over their coverage of him.
Business Insider pointed to a recent segment which motivated Trump's attacks against the hosts on Twitter. In the clip, Scarborough and Brzezinski hammered Trump for his fake Time covers decorating at least four of his golf clubs.
Here's the TV segment that prompted Trump's vicious Twitter attack on Mika Brzezinski pic.twitter.com/OELFoUD08a— Business Insider (@businessinsider) June 29, 2017
The clap-back to the president's outburst was swift. The DNC called the tweets "an attack on women everywhere" for not only the powerful office from which they came, but Trump's targeting of Brzezinski's appearance — an insult tactic he saves almost exclusively for women.
Even members of the Republican Party condemned the president's actions, reported ABC News. Republican Sens. Lindsay Graham and Ben Sasse both reprimanded Trump on Twitter.
"Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America," Graham wrote.
Kasse begged Trump to, "Please just stop."
Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 29, 2017
Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office.— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 29, 2017
Fox News host and daughter of Sen. John McCain, Meghan McCain, also spoke out on Twitter, tackling the demeaning nature of Trump's attack on Brzezinksi.
"I do not think making fun of a woman's looks is acceptable," she commented. "I get it every day of my life. I think that tweet is cruel — and unpresidential."
However, some simply had no words. Mark Kornblau, NBCUniversal News Group's senior vice president of Communications, tweeted that it was "beneath his dignity" to respond to Trump's crassness. Frankly, it's an admirably restrained response the president would do well to take notes from.
Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, "it is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States."— Mark Kornblau (@MarkKornblau) June 29, 2017
Brzezinski herself stuck by the old adage "a picture speaks a thousand words" and responded to Trump's attack on her with a personal jibe of her own, hitting the president where it hurts the most — his vanity.
Of course, there were those that rallied to defend Trump, among them his wife, Melania Trump, and the White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
A spokesman for the first lady told reporters for CNN that, "As the First Lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder."
Sanders chose a similar route of defense, insisting the president was just giving back what he got.
"This is a president who fights fire with fire and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied," she said in an interview on Fox News.
The thing is, the president is the most powerful man in the world, and other countries look to him as a representative of the American people. If he goes after every person who says something he doesn't like, stooping low enough to type petty, mean insults on Twitter while failing to get any work of substance done, what does that say about the president? What does that say about America?
Sanders touched on the subject of bullying in her interview with Fox News, ironically enough the pet project of the first lady.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper brought this entire mess to sarcastic conclusion with what may just be the question of the hour: