Former U.S. ambassador Mark Brzezinski has had his work deleted from the U.S. Embassy website, as retaliation for the Trump Morning Joe feud involving his sister, host Mika Brzezinski, the ambassador's wife said.
Last week, President Trump dialed up his feud with Brzezinski and co-host Joe Scarborough over what he considered overly critical coverage on the program. He tweeted a particularly harsh attack on Brzezinski, calling her "dumb as a box of rocks" and "bleeding badly from a facelift," which drew widespread partisan rebuke and consumed most of a news cycle.
It was then that Natalia Brzezinski, wife of Mark Brzezinski, the former U.S. ambassador to Sweden under President Barack Obama, noticed that the couple's blog on the U.S. Embassy website had been removed.
Natalia Brzezinski said she and the ambassador were approached about having a joint blog by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and digital advisor Alec Ross. "We had a mandate to be a modern ambassadorial couple," she said. "We recorded all that we did on that US Embassy blog, with a view to leaving the ideas, and the example of an activist Embassy, for future generations."
In the wake of the president's sexist remarks, the ambassador's wife was attempting to show her daughter the blog as an example of positive gender dynamics, she said, when she saw that the couple's work was no longer online. "It’s such a sadness and a shame to see a President try to erase that authentic and hard work," she said. "It is so depressing to go backwards, it feels as if our hard work and the heart we put into it is erased."
"Ambassadorships are supposed to be nonpartisan and about American values, not about the values of any one party," she said. "Erasing our digital footprint is a major assault on the freedom of expression and also the pure, nonpartisan nature of what diplomacy and Ambassadorships are supposed to be about."
The White House has not commented.
This may be the first digital deletion of the Trump administration to bear the hallmarks of a personal grudge, but it is only the latest in a series of erasures seemingly intended to send a message. Hours after Trump's inauguration, the White House's webpage on civil rights disappeared, along with pages on LGBT rights and disabilities. The website's section on climate change has since been taken down.