“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski said her jet-setting friends are embarrassed to be Americans while discussing if there was any reason for optimism in the Trump era on Monday.
“I had some friends that went to Paris over the holiday… and they said they were just viscerally embarrassed to be American,” Brzezinski said.
The MSNBC star's co-host and fiancé, Joe Scarborough, perhaps realizing she wasn’t speaking to the average American, tried to intervene with a joke, asking, and “Paris, Texas right?”
“Paris, France,” she responded. “They said it was the first time that it was sort of chilling.”
Brzezinski said her friends “didn’t even want to share” that they were on vacation from the United States.
Daily Caller media reporter Amber Athey didn’t appreciate the comment.
“Maybe Mika’s friends should stay in Paris if they’re too embarrassed to admit that they are American,” she wrote. “We might be better off.”
Last month, Brzezinski upset women who accused Mark Halperin of sexual harassment when she reported that she had tried to arrange a meeting so the now-disgraced political analyst could apologize.
Brzezinski said Halperin, who was fired from MSNBC after being accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, was "more than willing to meet with his accusers and apologize with them face-to-face."
The MSNBC star said she “actually tried to offer him to them” but the women “don't want to talk to him.”
Ten of Halperin’s accusers, including Emily Miller, Katie Glenn, Dianna May, Ella Spektor McManus and Lara Setrakian, sent a letter to MSNBC following Brzezinski’s comments. The letter, signed by “Ten victims of Mark Halperin,” was posted on Facebook and states that Brzezinski was “inappropriate” for suggesting such a meeting and that she has a conflict of interest because of her “personal friendship” with Halperin.
“Sexual harassment and assault is illegal in the workplace, and represents a violation of the policies and standards of NBC News," the letter said. "It is an unethical and harmful request to ask that sexual assault victims confront their accusers in person and, in particular, on live TV.”
The letter went on to ask that Brzezinski practice “higher standards of editorial judgment, compassion and human decency.”
Brzezinski issued a statement after the backlash:
"We have been trying our best on Morning Joe to have an honest conversation about sexual harassment and sexual assault. The issue has hit close to home given that Mark Halperin was on our show. I have spent a lot of time talking to some of his accusers and to Mark himself. Often I bring up the issue on our show because I think it would be less than genuine to talk about the growing number of cases without recognizing that a former member of our team acted very badly.
"In our discussion about sexual harassment this morning, I said some things that hurt people. In the case of Mark, my goal today was to start a conversation about hearing from the men whenever we can, but I realize that it is not my place. It isn’t my call to make, and for that I am truly sorry. As a victim of sexual assault, I understand that each individual's case is different. This is up to the victims, some of whom I've been in contact with. My hope is for all of us to come together to support the brave women who speak out and help make workplaces safer as we continue this difficult conversation in the months and years ahead.”