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Hope Hicks and other top staffers reportedly tried to set up a committee to vet Trump's tweets after he attacked Mika Brzezinski, but he ignored their input


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By Allan Smith, Business Insider

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks and other top staffers reportedly sought to vet President Donald Trump's tweets after he sent a particularly inflammatory message about MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski.

But Trump ignored their input.

That bit was reported by journalist Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, in his explosive upcoming book "Fear: Trump in the White House." Business Insider obtained a copy of the book, published by Simon & Schuster and set to be released Tuesday.

Woodward reported on the scene at the White House on the morning of June 29, 2017, when Trump fired off his tweet about Brzezinski and her "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough, a former GOP congressman. The pair had been supportive of Trump early in his presidential campaign, and were friends of his. But by then, they regularly admonished him and his administration.

"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," Trump tweeted. "She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"

Trump was widely condemned for the tweet, with Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine publicly criticizing him for the comment.

Inside the White House, Woodward reported that former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus described Trump as "going bananas."

By mid-morning that day, Priebus walked into the Oval Office where Trump was reading a newspaper, Woodward wrote.

"I know what you are going to say," Trump said to Priebus. "It's not presidential. And guess what? I know it. But I had to do it anyway."

Hicks, who was then the director of strategic communication, was, as Woodward wrote, "horrified" of the tweet.

"It's not politically helpful," she told Trump. "You can't just be a loose cannon on Twitter. You're getting killed by a lot of this stuff. You're shooting yourself in the foot. You're making big mistakes."

Hicks, former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and White House social media director Dan Scavino proposed setting up a committee to draft tweets for Trump and vet any ideas he had for a tweet.

In pitching the idea to Trump, he said several times, according to Woodward, "I guess you're right."

"We could do that," he said. But he then ignored the process, Woodward reported.

The president would send out a follow-up tweet on Brzezinski and Scarborough two days after his initial snipe, saying that "Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses."

Woodward also wrote that when Twitter later announced that the maximum length of a tweet would be increased to 280 characters from 140, Trump told Porter that it would be helpful for him to be able to more fully flesh out his thoughts, though he thought it was "a bit of a shame because I was the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters."

Trump has attacked the book and challenged Woodward's credibility, citing a number of denials from top officials such as White House chief of staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis, who said the scenes portrayed in the book are not accurate. Woodward has pushed back, saying the denials are being driven by political necessity and not the truth.


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Politics - U.S. Daily News: Hope Hicks and other top staffers reportedly tried to set up a committee to vet Trump's tweets after he attacked Mika Brzezinski, but he ignored their input
Hope Hicks and other top staffers reportedly tried to set up a committee to vet Trump's tweets after he attacked Mika Brzezinski, but he ignored their input
Politics - U.S. Daily News
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