A host of conservatives, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, slammed President Donald Trump's tweets that mocked cable TV host Mika Brzezinski's appearance and mental stability.
"Obviously I don't see that as an appropriate comment," Ryan said during his weekly press conference.
In a pair of tweets Thursday morning, the president went after Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who have criticized Trump on their MSNBC show "Morning Joe." Trump called Brzezinski "crazy" and said he had seen her "bleeding badly from a face-lift."
Five-term congresswoman Lynn Jenkins of Kansas says on Twitter: "This is not okay. As a female in politics I am often criticized for my looks. We should be working to empower women."
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who did not mention Trump or his tweet directly, also took to Twitter:
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted: "Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America."
Republican Sens. Susan Collins, Tim Scott and Lisa Murkowski appeared to respond in kind to the tweet but did not mention Trump by name.
Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, said in a statement that Trump and other leaders "should model civility, honor and respect in their political rhetoric."
He said Trump's comments "don't help our political or national discourse and do not provide a positive role model for our national dialogue" and mentioned the hearing he oversaw with U.S. Capitol Police that touched on safety after the June 14 shooting of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise and several others at a baseball practice.
However, the White House and first lady Melania Trump both backed the president.
"I don't think that the president has ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn't push back," deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Fox News on Thursday. "There have been an outrageous number of personal attacks, not just to him but everyone around him. … This is a president who fights fire with fire, and certainly will not be bullied by liberal elites."
Melania Trump's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, defended the president in a statement to CNN, tweeted by the network's Jeremy Diamond:
Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy went after Republican lawmakers, suggesting they are hypocritical:
Other reaction from conservatives:
CNN host Michael Smerconish, who recently came to the president's defense in the Russia probe, backing up Trump's claim that it is a witch hunt, was also indignant:
He wasn't alone:
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