White House aides despair over 'facelift' tweet: At least you're not reporting 'we're going to kill millions'
President Donald Trump (AFP Photo/Thomas COEX)

White House aides darkly welcomed President Donald Trump's petty Twitter feud with MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski as a distraction from more serious political issues, such as the health care bill and the Russia investigation.

The president reacted to Brzezinski's criticism Thursday on "Morning Joe," where she suggested that his Twitter attacks were symptoms of possible mental problems, by tweeting out a series of vicious insults against the TV news commentator.

First Lady Melania Trump and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the president, who they described as a victim of media "bullies," but White House staffers were privately downcast, reported The Daily Beast.

"At least you're writing [about] this and not that we're going to kill millions of people," one White House official told the website, glumly welcoming the distraction from negative coverage of the Republican health care bill.

White House aides have tried, but mostly failed, to keep Trump from watching cable TV news and tweeting angrily about what he sees.

"This is who the president is," one official told The Daily Beast.