Trump points fresh in­sults at TV hosts

Pres­i­dent adds at­tack on MSNBC to com­ments about Scar­bor­ough, Brzezin­ski

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Cather­ine Lucey The As­so­ci­ated Press

N.J.» Pres­i­dent Don­ald BRIDGEWATER, Trump es­ca­lated an in­tensely per­sonal feud with two high-pro­file talk show hosts Satur­day, sug­gest­ing with­out ev­i­dence that their net­work is bi­ased against him.

The pres­i­dent’s stream of in­sults has pained politi­cians from both par­ties who have ap­pealed to him, with­out ap­par­ent suc­cess, to stop the 140-char­ac­ter bursts of char­ac­ter at­tacks and fo­cus on run­ning the coun­try.

Trump lashed out at Joe Scar­bor­ough and Mika Brzezin­ski, co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morn­ing Joe,” via Twit­ter on Satur­day. From his New Jersey golf club, he said: “Crazy Joe Scar­bor­ough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad peo­ple, but their low rated show is dom­i­nated by their NBC bosses.”

Trump also said that Greta Van Sus­teren lost her nightly show on MSNBC be­cause she “re­fused to go along w/ ‘Trump hate!’ ” MSNBC con­firmed last week that Van Sus­teren, pre­vi­ously a long­time an­chor at Fox News, was be­ing re­placed.

NBC de­clined com­ment on all the tweets Satur­day from the pres­i­dent. “Morn­ing Joe” just fin­ished the high­est-rated quar­ter in the show’s his­tory. MSNBC never of­fi­cially gave a rea­son for re­plac­ing Van Sus­teren’s show; it did, how­ever, lag in the rat­ings com­pared with the net­work’s other shows.

Trump drew broad con­dem­na­tion for his tweets Thurs­day call­ing Brzezin­ski “crazy” and say­ing she was “bleed­ing badly from a face-lift” when he saw them at his South Florida es­tate. The com­ment was de­cried as sex­ist and vul­gar by many Democrats and Repub­li­cans.

The MSNBC per­son­al­i­ties said Fri­day that Trump was ly­ing about their De­cem­ber en­counter and they ques­tioned his “un­healthy ob­ses­sion” with their pro­gram. The hosts, who are a cou­ple on the screen and off, also said the White House told them a dam­ag­ing Na­tional En­quirer story about their re­la­tion­ship would “go away” if they called the pres­i­dent and apol­o­gized for harsh com­men­tary. Trump quickly dis­puted the claim on Twit­ter.

Trump’s con­tin­ued fo­cus on ca­ble tele­vi­sion comes as Repub­li­cans are strug­gling to find agree­ment on a health care over­haul, a key prom­ise from the pres­i­dent and GOP law­mak­ers. And Trump is head­ing to the an­nual Group of 20 meet­ing this week, where he will meet with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, a high-stakes en­counter that could put Trump’s “Amer­ica First” pol­icy to the test.

Trump also tweeted an­grily at CNN on Satur­day, say­ing the net­work, which he has long pil­lo­ried, “has fi­nally been ex­posed as #FakeNews and garbage jour­nal­ism.”

CNN re­cently ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tions of three em­ploy­ees in­volved in a re­tracted story about a sup­posed in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a pre-in­au­gu­ral meet­ing be­tween a Trump as­so­ciate and the head of a Rus­sian in­vest­ment fund. The net­work had no com­ment on Satur­day’s tweet.

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