Ryan on Trump’s tweet: Attacking Brzezinski’s appearance isn’t an ‘appropriate comment’

House Speaker Paul Ryan says President Trump’s tweet attacking Mika Brzezinski’s appearance was inappropriate and isn’t helping congressional Republicans pass his agenda.

“Obviously I don’t see that as an appropriate comment,” Ryan told reporters Thursday at his weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill. “What we ‘re trying to do around here is improve the tone and civility of the debate, and obviously that doesn’t help.”

“We’re doing our jobs,” Ryan added. “We’re going to walk and chew gum at the same time.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was saddened by Trump’s attack.

“It is so beneath the dignity of the president of the United States to engage in such behavior,” Pelosi said in her weekly press conference Thursday. “The tweets of the president of the United States set a low standard for public officials in terms of demeanor.”

She added: “It’s really sad though — this is the president of the United States. Something’s wrong there.”

Earlier Thursday, Trump had lashed out at the MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host with unusually harsh personal attack aimed at her and Joe Scarborough.

“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore),” Trump wrote on Twitter. “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!”

Several of Ryan’s Republican colleagues blasted Trump for his comments.

“This is not okay,” Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., tweeted. “As a female in politics I am often criticized for my looks. We should be working to empower women.”

“We need civility and respect in our political discourse,” Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., tweeted. “POTUS’s tweets this morning are the opposite of that.”

“Please just stop,” Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse wrote on Twitter. “This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office.”

“This has to stop — we all have a job — 3 branches of gov’t and media,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, tweeted. “We don’t have to get along, but we must show respect and civility.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., scolded Trump on Twitter.

“Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics,” Graham tweeted, “not the greatness of America.”

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said Trump’s tweets “don’t help our political or national discourse” — particularly in the wake of the shooting at a congressional baseball game earlier this month.

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, though, defended Trump’s tweets as an appropriate response to criticism of Trump by the “Morning Joe” hosts.

“I think what’s necessary is to push back against unnecessary attacks,” Sanders said on Fox News. “I have seen far worse things come out of that show.”

She added: “This is a president who fights fire with fire, and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by liberal media or liberal elites in Hollywood or anywhere else.”

Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Melania Trump, said the first lady — who has made opposition to cyberbullying a signature issue — stands by the president.

“As [she] has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder,” Grisham said.

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