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White House defends Trump tweets: He 'fights fire with fire'

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed the controversy on Fox News

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Olivier Douliery/Bloomberg/Getty Images

President Donald Trump once again ignited controversy on Thursday when he tweeted disparagingly about Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski, calling her “crazy” and alleging that she recently got a facelift. Trump began the tweets by saying it was a response to Morning Joe‘s criticism of him. Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders echoed that sentiment in a Fox News interview to justify the president’s conduct.

“I don’t think that the president has ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t push back,” Sanders said. “There have been outrageous personal attacks not just on him but on everyone around him. People on that show have personally attacked me many times. This is a president who fights fire with fire, and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by liberal media, or the liberal elites within the media, or Hollywood, or anywhere else.”

After Fox News host Bill Hemmer asked Sanders if she wanted to address why Trump’s attacks are “entirely more personal than it needs to be,” the White House staffer said no.

“I think I’ve addressed that as much as I can,” Sanders said.

“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). 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,” President Trump wrote in pair of tweets on Thursday. “She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

Trump was condemned for his remarks, with many noting how his wife, Melania, had professed a hope to end online bullying. “Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” Melania said last year. “It is never okay when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground, and it is absolutely unacceptable when it’s done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.”

Trump has frequently directed personal attacks toward women and their appearance, including Megyn Kelly, Arianna Huffington, Bette Midler, and Rosie O’Donnell