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July 23, 2014
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Two of Ukraine's military fighter jets were shot down in east Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

The Associated Press reports that two Sukhoi-25 fighter jets were shot down at 1:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday. The shooting happened above the Savur Mogila area, a part of the Shaktersky region near the Russian border.

USA Today reports that Ukraine's Defense Ministry said the jets were two of four Russian-built fighters that were "returning to base after providing air support for Ukrainian troops near the border."

Oleksiy Dmitrashovsky, a Defense Ministry spokesperson, told the AP that each plane may have carried up to two crew members. The AP has not yet announced whether the crew members have survived.

The announcement comes as U.K. investigators begin analysis of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17's black boxes. The fighter jets were shot down less than a week after that flight, a passenger jet, was shot down in the same region. Meghan DeMaria

11:43 a.m. ET

Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) put her foot down Thursday after President Trump launched a sexist attack on Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski. "This has to stop," Collins tweeted, calling for "respect and civility":

Her reminder to the government that they "have a job" comes as Senate Republicans struggle to craft a passable plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Collins has come out against the first draft of the bill, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated would leave an additional 22 million uninsured by 2026, as opposed to under the current law of ObamaCare.

Because Republicans can only afford two defections, Collins' support is key for Senate Republican leadership to win if they want to pass the GOP health-care plan. Trump's sexist Thursday morning tweets about "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" don't seem to be helping the cause. Becca Stanek

11:02 a.m. ET

Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins (Kan.) expressed her personal offense to President Trump's sexist attack on Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski on Thursday:

Other Republican lawmakers have also expressed outrage at Trump's comments, although the president was defended by Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and first lady Melania Trump. Jeva Lange

10:58 a.m. ET

In a statement released through a spokesperson, first lady Melania Trump stood by her husband Thursday morning after he hurled sexist insults at a woman on Twitter. Responding to President Trump's tweets calling Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski "low I.Q." and "crazy" and claiming she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" when he rejected her company at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Melania reiterated that her husband just can't help but punch back when he's "attacked."

"As the first lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder," the first lady's spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement.

Ironically, Melania has taken up cyberbullying as one of her causes as first lady. Though she's declared "it is never okay when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied, or attacked," it's apparently okay when a woman is attacked by her 71-year-old husband. Becca Stanek

10:49 a.m. ET

President Trump's viciously sexist tweets about Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski might have been provoked by the co-host's joke about his hand size. As the Morning Joe team was discussing a fake Time magazine cover with Trump on the front Thursday morning, Brzezinski suggested Trump was hiding his hands in the photo "because they're teensy!"

Just a few hours later, Trump unleashed sexist insults on Brzezinski. Brzezinski herself may well believe it was her "teensy" hand comment that set Trump off; this was her reply. Jeva Lange

10:34 a.m. ET

People on both sides of the aisle were horrified Thursday by President Trump's viciously sexist tweets about Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski. Even Republican lawmakers took the opportunity to chastise the president, calling his language "beneath the dignity of your office" and "what is wrong with American politics."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted:

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) also expressed his disappointment:

Democrats were also outraged. "If anyone on my staff [tweeted] this, they would be fired instantly," said Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). Jeva Lange

10:33 a.m. ET

NBC's Senior Vice President of Communications Mark Kornblau seemingly struggled to find the words to respond after President Trump viciously attacked one of MSNBC's anchors in a sexist Twitter rant Thursday morning. In fact, Kornblau suggested in a tweet that it might be "beneath [his] dignity" to even address Trump's viciously personal attack on Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski:

In a two-part tweet, Trump called Brzezinski "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and deemed Brzezinski's fiancé and co-host, Joe Scarborough, "Psycho Joe." After declaring that Morning Joe is "poorly rated," Trump claimed Brzezinski and Scarborough had "insisted" on spending multiple nights with him at his Mar-a-Lago resort around New Year's Eve. "She was bleeding badly from a face-lift," Trump tweeted. "I said no!"

Eventually, Kornblau — or someone on MSNBC's public relations team — did find the words to respond to Trump's tweets. Becca Stanek

10:13 a.m. ET
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump's former bodyguard and director of Oval Office operations Keith Schiller is on the witness list for the House Intelligence Committee's ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, ABC News reports. Before joining Trump at the White House, Schiller served as Trump's personal bodyguard for nearly 20 years.

The inclusion of Schiller on the witness list is "the latest indication that the investigations are touching Trump's inner circle," ABC News writes. Ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone are all expected to voluntarily face congressional investigators in the coming months.

While it wasn't immediately clear what specifically brought Schiller to the attention of investigators, the former New York police officer was entrusted by Trump to hand-deliver the letter firing former FBI Director James Comey to the FBI headquarters. Schiller also traveled with Kushner to Iraq in April alongside National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

"Keith Schiller is not just some bodyguard," said Trump's former political adviser, Michael Caputo. "Nobody knows the score among the advisers better than Keith Schiller." Jeva Lange

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