The media firestorm over President Donald Trump's tweets continued into Friday morning as the targets of his ire, MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinksi, published a scathing retort in the Washington Post.
"President Trump launched personal attacks against us Thursday, but our concerns about his unmoored behavior go far beyond the personal," it read. "America’s leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whether this man is fit to be president."
They went on to accuse White House staff members of threatening them with a damaging article in the National Enquirer that could be prevented if they begged the president for help. Many noted that the gossip magazine appeared to publish very favorable articles about then-candidate Trump during the presidential campaign. The MSNBC hosts said they did not respond to the threat.
They also claimed that Trump's version of their dinner in December was "laughable," and offered their own account. They said it was Trump who was requesting their company, not the other way around, and that they rejected his offer to spend New Year's Eve at Mar-A-Lago, his resort in Florida.
They denied that Brzezinski was "bleeding badly from a face-lift," as the president claimed, and wrote that she had never had any face-lift operations at all.
The response decried his treatment of women, noting a pattern of previous behavior. "It is disturbing that the president of the United States keeps up his unrelenting assault on women," they wrote. "From his menstruation musings about Megyn Kelly, to his fat-shaming treatment of a former Miss Universe, to his braggadocio claims about grabbing women’s genitalia, the 45th president is setting the poorest of standards for our children."
They concluded with the assertion that his staff members had often expressed worry about his "erratic behavior."
While many Republicans decried the insults Trump lobbed from his Twitter account, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders maintained a defiant tone when scolded by members of the press Thursday. "When the President gets hit, he's going to hit harder," she explained, "as he did today."
The tweets remain on the president's official account.
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 (@Donald J. Trump)1498740737.0
...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 (@Donald J. Trump)1498741103.0
Brzezinski also posted an image on her social media account intended to mock Trump over the size of his hands, a favored joke among critics of the president.
https://t.co/8YhzcCUwM1— Mika Brzezinski (@Mika Brzezinski)1498742393.0
Some of the president's stalwart allies came to his defense, including talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh, who provided more alleged details about the dinner at Mar-A-Lago, and Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, who said the couple were as "evil" as CNN.