WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump ridiculed the looks and temperament of a female cable television host whose show he says he has stopped watching.
In a series of tweets Thursday morning, the president went after Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who have criticized Trump on their MSNBC show "Morning Joe."
"I heard poorly rated @Morning Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came ... to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"
Brzezinski responded on Twitter by posting a photograph of a Cheerios box that has the phrase "made for little hands." Critics looking to get under the president's skin have long suggested that his hands appear smaller than usual for his frame.
"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," NBC News spokeswoman Lorie Acio said in a statement.
The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the tweets, including what it was that set the president off.
About two hours before the president's tweets, Brzezinski said on the show that "it's not normal behavior" for any leader to be tweeting about people's appearances, bullying, lying, undermining managers and throwing people under the bus.
Saying that if any business executive behaved the way Trump does, "There would be concern that perhaps the person who runs the company is out of his mind."
On their Wednesday show, Brzezinski and Scarborough roundly mocked Trump for displaying in several of his golf resorts a fake Time Magazine cover featuring himself.
"That's needy," Brzezinski said on the show.
About 15 minutes before the president himself tweeted, White House social media director Dan Scavino similarly attacked the hosts.
"#DumbAsARockMika and lover #JealousJoe are lost, confused & saddened since @POTUS @realDonaldTrump stopped returning their calls! Unhinged," Scavino wrote on his personal account.
Trump was correct that the MSNBC hosts spent time at the president's Florida resort, a visit that Scarborough said was to arrange a Trump interview.
The hosts confirmed they are engaged to be married earlier this month.
AP television writer David Bauder contributed to this report from New York.