If President Donald Trump’s goal was to sink MSNBC’s Morning Joe with his crude and sexist tweets about the show’s hosts last week, it didn’t work: The show has reportedly reached its highest audience ever since the Twitter tirade.
Trump targeted Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Thursday in a series of tweets bashing their morning talk show. Brzezinski, in particular, was the subject of a sexist tweet by the president, who wrote that she was “bleeding badly from a facelift” during a meeting between the three of them in Mar-a-Lago. Photos of Brzezinski later debunked that claim.
Nielsen ratings found that 1.66 million people watched Morning Joe the day after Trump’s tweets, narrowly beating the show’s record, the Associated Press reported. Friday morning’s Morning Joe show even beat out Fox & Friends (a favorite show of Trump’s), according to AP. Morning Joe‘s average daily viewership for 2017 is reportedly 896,000, putting it in second place behind Fox & Friends.
Trump, a former reality show host, has repeatedly brought up ratings in his tweets bashing the media.
After the initial Morning Joe tweets, Trump continued to bash Brzezinski and Scarborough, assailing the show as “fake news,” and its hosts “crazy” and “dumb as a rock” before calling them “not bad people” and insulting the ratings on their show. It doesn’t appear Trump knew of the all-time highs the show received as a result of his Twitter rants.
The tweets spurred widespread criticism and even drew pleas from fellow Republicans for Trump to stop tweeting. However, amid the criticism, White House officials—including Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders—defended Trump, with Sanders saying he upholds the dignity of the presidential office “every day” despite tweeting sexist and vulgar comments at members of the media.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll released on Wednesday and conducted on June 29 and 30—in the hours immediately following Trump’s tweets—found that 65 percent of all voters thought Trump’s tweets were unacceptable. Just 9 percent of Democrats, 12 percent of independents, and 28 percent of Republican voters said the tweets were acceptable.