MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski and her co-host said Friday that President Donald Trump lied when he said they tried to join him at Mar-a-Lago last winter while Brzezinski "was bleeding badly from a face-lift."
Trump's attack on the hosts Thursday was his latest skirmish with the media and sparked outrage among Republican lawmakers who said he was behaving beneath the dignity of his office and distracting from their legislative agenda, including repealing Obamacare and cutting taxes.
Brzezinski and co-host Joe Scarborough said in a Washington Post op-ed it was "false" they asked to join Trump at his Florida resort three nights in a row around New Year's Eve, "laughable" that Trump says he refused to see them, and "a lie" that Brzezinski was badly bleeding from the cosmetic surgery Trump claimed.
On air, Brzezinski called the incident "fascinating" and "sad for our country."
"The White House claims that we attack him," she said. "No, we report on his lies."
"We're okay, the country's not," Scarborough said on air. "Yesterday was just another example of how deeply personal he is. He attacks women, because he fears women."
The hosts said that while it's "no one's business," Trump's attack "compels us to report that Mika has never had a facelift" and "did have a little skin under her chin tweaked, but this was hardly a state secret."
Trump's treatment of female critics -- which was a recurring issue during the 2016 campaign -- was also highlighted by some of the lawmakers who denounced his comments Thursday.
"This is not okay," Representative Lynn Jenkins, a Kansas Republican, tweeted. "As a female in politics I am often criticized for my looks. We should be working to empower women."
The White House defended Trump's comments about the hosts. The American people chose to elect "a fighter" and "knew what they were getting when they voted for Donald Trump," spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.
-- Bloomberg News