WASHINGTON — Anyone surprised by President Trump’s tweeted attack on Mika Brzezinski early Thursday must have missed the 2016 presidential campaign.
“They knew what they were getting when they voted for Donald Trump,” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the electorate at Thursday, in defense of the president’s morning tweets.
Just as feminist writers saw a presidential campaign that raised Twitter trolling to an art form as an outgrowth of the sexist alt-right Twitter attacks they’d been living with for years, Hillary Clinton’s experience with Trump now looks like a curtain raiser for the president’s approach to powerful female critics.
From his icy press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to his mocking “low I.Q. Crazy” Brzezinski for “bleeding badly from a face-lift” — despite there being no evidence of anything like that in a photo taken the evening in question — Trump as president has proved as unable to contain his emotions when it comes to women as he was during the campaign.
This lack of self-control appears to be longstanding and is something he boasted of in the off-camera 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape released in October. He dismissed the lewd talk as “locker room talk.”
“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab ’em by the p****,” he’d said.
His inability to restrain himself and consider his position and the standards of behavior expected of a U.S. president showed again this week, when he gestured to a female reporter to leave the press pack to join him before the cameras during a foreign leader call, to compliment her “nice smile.”
He showed little restraint with insults and threats during the campaign, attacking opponents both preemptively and defensively. He notably trashed rival Carly Fiorina’s appearance during the primary campaign.
“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?” Trump told a Rolling Stone reporter as they watched her on the news. “Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”
He added: “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
He later implied that there was something wrong with Clinton’s appearance too. “I just don’t think she has a presidential look,…