US President Donald Trump, on Twitter, attacked a woman TV news host in highly personal terms on Thursday, calling her "crazy" and alleging she had been bleeding at one point from a facelift, drawing strong criticism even from fellow Republicans.
Trump, who often decries what he calls "fake news" in the American media and who this week attacked CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post, on Thursday went after the hosts of the MSNBC program "Morning Joe," Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
The Republican president called Brzezinski, a journalist and daughter of former White House national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and said she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" when she visited one of his properties around New Year's Eve.
He referred to former Republican U.S. congressman Scarborough as "Psycho Joe."
Trump's tweets on Thursday drew a particularly strong response.
"It's a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job," MSNBC's communications office said on Twitter.
The "Morning Joe" program aired live telephone interviews with Trump during the 2016 presidential race, but its hosts have turned increasingly critical of him since he took office in January. On Thursday morning's show, Brzezinski criticized the Trump administration and said its officials should not act "lobotomized" because they are so scared of the president.
Comcast Corp owns NBCUniversal, MSNBC's parent company. Republican lawmakers and others sharply rebuked Trump.
The tweets "represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America," said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, while another Republican senator, Ben Sasse, called Trump's remarks "beneath the dignity of your office." "I don't see that as an appropriate comment," Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said of Trump's tweets.