Former presidential adviser David Axelrod on Thursday slammed President Donald Trump for his Twitter attack on MSNBC co-host Mika Brzezinski, dismissing explanations by the White House that he was a "fighter."
"You hear his enablers today saying he's a fighter," Axelrod, who served former President Barack Obama, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN, referring to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
"There is a difference between being a fighter and an epic jerk – and one shouldn't mistake the two.
"Fighting means not putting yourself and your ego in the middle of every single interaction you have," he said.
At the daily press briefing, Sanders told reporters that Trump posted the tweets because he was defending himself from attacks by Brzezinski and her "Morning Joe" co-host, Joe Scarborough.
"The president has been attacked mercilessly on personal accounts by members on that program – and he's been very clear that when he gets attacked, he's going to hit back," she said.
"The American people elected somebody who's tough, who's smart, and who's a fighter – and that's Donald Trump.
"I don't think that it's a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire," Sanders said.
Axelrod told Blitzer that the subject "demands discussion through the sheer outrageousness of the quote.
"Here's the thing: Donald Trump did all of these kinds of things before he got elected president.
"He's been behaving badly all his life.
"He's flouted norms, flouted rules, pushed laws – and he's president of the United States," he said. "And in his mind, that's what got him here."
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