Friday 19 January 2018

TV hosts question Trump's 'fragile' mental state after Twitter outburst

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski arrive for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski arrive for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Harriet Alexander

US TV hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough (pictured) have questioned the mental state of the President Donald Trump, describing him as "thin-skinned" and saying that his "fragile, childlike, impetuous temper" is deeply troubling to America.

Mr Trump issued a series of deeply personal and offensive tweets on Thursday, describing Ms Brzezinski as begging to attend his Mar-a-Lago estate when she was "bleeding badly from a face lift".

The tweets were condemned across the political spectrum, with Republicans including speaker of the house Paul Ryan, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush all expressing dismay at the "undignified, unpresidential" message. Ben Sasse, senator for Nebraska, simply said: "Please stop."

Yesterday morning the co-hosts returned to the show - despite originally planning to be on holiday - to deliver their verdict.

Ms Brzezinski said that she was not affected personally - noting that the recent death of her father, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, and her daughter's loss of a friend were real issues that worried her.

But she worried for the country. "He appears to have a fragile, childlike, impetuous temper," she said. "It is unbelievably alarming that this president is so easily played. By a cable news host. What is that saying to our allies?"

She also marvelled at how the president managed "to fit so many lies" into his tweets.

Rather than begging to attend his Florida estate, she said that she only went because the president repeatedly asked Mr Scarborough, her fiancé, where she was. She said she spent less than 15 minutes there in December, chatting pleasantly with Melania Trump - who she praised - and turned down his invitation to spend New Year's Eve at the resort.

She had recently had a tightening of her chin, she said, adding: "But that's no state secret."

In an article in the 'Washington Post', published yesterday, the couple wrote: "Putting aside Mr Trump's never-ending obsession with women's blood, Mika and her face were perfectly intact, as pictures from that night reveal.

"And though it is no one's business, the president's petulant personal attack against yet another woman's looks compels us to report that Mika has never had a face-lift.

"If she had, it would be evident to anyone watching 'Morning Joe' on their high-definition TV.

"She did have a little skin under her chin tweaked, but this was hardly a state secret. Her mother suggested she do so, and all those around her were aware of this mundane fact."

Mr Scarborough, a former congressman for Florida, then told a story about how they had been contacted by someone who warned them that 'The National Enquirer' was about to publish a story attacking them.

He said that three senior White House officials then contacted him.

"They said if you call the president up and apologise for your coverage, he will pick up the phone and spike their coverage. I had three people at the top of the administration calling me. I was like - are you kidding?"

Ms Brzezinski, who has two teenage daughters with her ex-husband, said that reporters from 'The National Enquirer' were hounding her children and sitting outside her house.

"I talked to my ex-husband, and Joe, and my kids," she said. "And our response was just run it."

Mr Trump then took to Twitter to disagree with Mr Scarborough's story.

The presenters told how they had a decade-long friendship with Mr Trump, but were growing increasingly concerned about his mental state.

"The guy in the White House is not the Donald Trump we know," said Mr Scarborough.

"The guy we knew 10 years ago was always in on the joke.

"Without getting into great detail, I'd just say that someone at the top of the campaign said we're really worried about the state of his mind." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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