Nearly four years after former President Donald Trump tweeted that Mika Brzezinski ‘was bleeding badly from a face-lift’ when he last saw her, the 53-year-old Morning Joe host has claimed she laughed ‘uproariously’ when she first read the insult – while accusing the former President of being ‘obsessed with her’.
Brzezinski, 53, admits in a new episode of the Daily Beast podcast ‘The New Abnormal‘ that she had just undergone a chin tuck and was still on painkillers when Trump summoned her and her co-host — now husband — Joe Scarborough to Mar-a-Lago for New Year’s Eve.
She said Trump had overheard a conversation Brzezinski had with Melania about the surgery, but hadn’t been insulting about it at the time, merely boasting that his wife had never had any plastic surgery.
Then, months later, after Brzezinski made critical remarks about Trump on MSNBC, the former president immediately turned around and fired off the tweet, which Mika describes now as ‘the funniest thing I’d ever read.’
Flashback: After Mika Brzezinski, 53, criticized Trump on air in 2017, the then-President tweeted that ‘Crazy Mika’ came to Mar-a-Lago and ‘was bleeding badly from a face-lift’
Tit for tat: Mika, Joe Scarborough, and Trump had once been on good terms, but Trump grew relentless with insults once the Morning Joe co-hosts began criticizing him
He tweeted: ‘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!’
Brzezinski clarified that she hadn’t had a face lift, but a chin tuck, an outpatient procedure in which a doctor removes fat and tighten skin around the chin.
‘The week of New Year’s, I had gone down to Jupiter, Florida and I actually had gotten like a thing on the sides of my neck, like I guess they call it like a chin tuck,’ she recalled.
‘My neck looked like turkey, and I was like, this is the last thing I’m gonna do. It had been the last thing!’ she went on, saying she had told all of her friends about the procedure and was not embarrassed about it.
The day of the surgery, Trump called Scarborough asking him to come to Mar-a-Lago — but while Scarborough went alone, Trump kept asking where Brzezinski was.
‘He’s like, “Where’s Mika?” He’s always obsessed with me, “How’s Mika doing, where’s Mika?”‘ she recalled.
Trump insisted that both she and Scarborough come to a fundraiser he was hosting at Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve, and while Scarborough suggested Brzezinski stay home — she was still a bit loopy from painkillers — she said it would be fine and she could just wear a turtleneck.
When they arrived, Brzezinski said the crowd was ‘facelift central.’
Back story: Brzezinski that she had a chin lift four days before New Year’s, and was in the Trumps’ bedroom at Mar-a-Lago discussing it with Melania, who was ‘curious’
Not her: Trump walked over and boasted, ‘Melania has had no work done. She’s perfect’
The party: Brzezinski was still on painkillers but went to the celebration after Trump repeatedly insisted she come visit
The pair looked for Trump, and eventually he and Melania invited them into their bedroom.
‘Melania and I start talking, and I do the thing that I do, which is tell people the thing that I’ve done,’ she said, adding that ‘Melania was curious about it.’
‘I’m talking to Melania about it, woman to woman, then Donald came up and said, “You know, Melania has had no work done. She’s perfect.” I’m like, “That’s great.”
Fast forward six months, and the Morning Joe co-hosts are on air talking about Trump, with Brzezinski calling him ‘a proven liar’ and making fun of the size of his hands.
‘Next thing I know, he gets angry because we’re being honest on the air, and he tweets,’ she recalled.
Trump tweeted: ‘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… 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!’
Reflecting on the tweets, Brzezinski said she found them quite funny.
Not upset: Brzezinski said she laughed ‘uproariously’ at the tweet, calling it ‘hilarious’
‘I literally laugh out loud uproariously. I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever read,’ she said, adding that everyone else in the studio was ‘freaked out.’
She reassured everyone that it was ‘hilarious’ but that they ‘need a response ASAP.’
After, Brzezinski tweeted a photo of a box of Cheerios with the tagline, ‘made for little hands,’ presenting it without further comment.
She said she also responded on air the next day, chiding the president for deciding ‘to face-shame me.’
Brzezinski had already made some critical remarks of Trump, prompting his tweet in the first place. During the show, she said he made House Republicans ‘look like fools’ by making them celebrate their bill’s passage in a Rose Garden ceremony the previous month.
She also made fun of the size of his hands, calling them ‘teensy’ with glee.
But Trump’s tweets earned criticism from many media personalities and lawmakers. CNN’s Jake Tapper, for one, wrote: ‘This reminds me: how is @FLOTUS’s campaign against cyber-bullying going?’
NBC’s Peter Alexander reported 10 minutes later that he had asked the First Lady’s office about the anti-cyberbullying effort and a ‘spox says Melania’s “continuing to be thoughtful abt her platform.”‘
Revenge: She fired back with this ‘little hands’ tweet after Trump insukted her
REPUBLICANS TURN ON THE PRESIDENT OVER MIKA SLUR
Soon after Trump’s attacks, lawmakers from his own party began to react to the president’s latest headline-grabbing Twitter assault.
‘Please just stop. This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office,’ wrote Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., on Twitter.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., made a similar comment.
‘Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America,’ he tweeted.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was asked about the president’s tweets during his Thursday press conference.
‘Obviously, I don’t see that as an appropriate comment,’ Ryan said. ‘Look, what we’re trying to do around here is improve the tone and civility of the debate.’
Later Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman, said: ‘As the First Lady has stated publicly, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.’
And then-Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders forcefully backed up her boss, saying he was in the right for calling Morning Joe’s hosts ‘psycho’ and ‘crazy.’
‘This is a president who fights fire with fire and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by a liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else,’ Huckabee Sanders said.
She commented later that ‘it’s kind of like we’re living in the Twilight Zone.’
‘I think that the president is pushing back against people who attack him day after day after day. Where’s the outrage on that?’ she said in a lengthy defense of her boss. ‘You guys are constantly coming and asking if this OK? If he does it one time. This is day after day after day and it’s not just the president. The only person that I see a war on is this president and everybody who works for him.
Continuing, she said, ‘I think I’ve been pretty clear that when the president gets hit he’s going to hit back harder, which is what he did today.
‘I don’t think you can expect someone to be personally attacked day after day, minute by minute and sit back. Look, the American people elected a fighter. They didn’t elect somebody to sit back and do nothing. They knew what they were getting when they voted for Donald Trump and he won overwhelmingly.’
Mark Kornblau, head of PR for the NBC networks, said in an unofficial statement of Trump’s tweets: ‘Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, “it is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States.” ‘
An official statement from MSNBC said: ‘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.’
The early days: Republican leaders turned on Trump, exasperated by the tweets (pictured in 2020)
They do: After the New Year’s party — but before the facelift tweet — Trump offered to officiate Brzezinski and Scarborough’s wedding
Republican leaders turned on Trump, exasperated by the tweets. Defeated presidential rival Jeb Bush tweeted: ‘Inappropriate. Undignified. Unpresidential.’
Paul Ryan said they were ‘not appropriate’ and Senator Lindsay Graham urged Trump to stop demeaning his office.
The Morning Joe hosts had supported Trump early in the Republican primary season, proclaiming that Trump was a legitimate candidate for the presidency, not some sideshow political act as some pundits tried to make the billionaire businessman out to be.
But by February 2016, things started to sour after Trump refused to disavow an endorsement made by the KKK’s former leader David Duke.
Scarborough called Trump’s tepid response to Duke ‘disqualifying.’
From then on, when Scarborough and Brzezinski criticized the candidate, he would take them to task with a tweet.
However, by the time New Year’s Eve at Mar-a-Lago rolled around, they seemed to be on firmer footing.
So much, so, that Vanity Fair reported that Trump offered later in January to officiate a wedding for the couple, and said they could use Mar-a-Lago, his private Florida resort, as the wedding venue. He also offered them the White House.