US President Donald Trump has launched a stunning attack on a female news anchor’s alleged plastic surgery.
He said MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” during a visit to his Florida golf resort Mar-a-Lago.
In a Twitter salvo, Mr Trump also assailed Brzezinski’s MSNBC co-presenter Joe Scarborough.
They are both his occasional sparring partners and she this week accused him of developing a “dictatorship”.
“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore),” Mr Trump tweeted on Thursday morning.
He also accused “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and “Psycho Joe” of “insisting on joining me” at Mar-a-Lago over three days at New Year’s Eve.
“She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!” he added.
Brzezinksi hit back by tweeting an advert for children’s cereal, apparently referring to a taunt detractors often direct at Mr Trump, that he has small hands.
Mark Kornblau, the public relations head of NBC News, tweeted: “Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, ‘it is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States.'”
During his campaign for president, Mr Trump was a frequent guest on MSNBC’s Morning Joe programme, which was accused of giving him favourable treatment.
But the relationship turned sour as the presenters sharpened their scrutiny of the candidate.
Mr Trump’s broadside is all more the notable since Scarborough and Brzezinski, who are engaged to one another, told Vanity Fair magazine in May that the president had offered to officiate at their wedding ceremony.
Trump hits hornet’s nest again – Anthony Zurcher, BBC Washington
Let’s quickly review all of the people who have told Donald Trump to tone down his tweets as president. His wife. His White House advisors. His lawyers. Republicans in Congress. Even his own supporters have said they think his social media fusillades are counterproductive.
Yet here we are again. Another morning, another round of intensely personal Twitter invective that marks a dramatic departure from the (at least public) behaviour of past occupants of the Oval Office.
That this comes as no shock may, in fact, be the biggest shock of all. Mr Trump mocked people’s looks (Rosie O’Donnell) as a businessman, and he was rewarded with reality television show stardom. He mocked people’s looks (Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul) as a candidate, and he was rewarded with the presidency. Now he’s mocking people’s looks from his new home in the White House.
The president has hit the hornet’s nest again, and he’ll be roundly condemned by media commentators and Democrats. Republican politicians will express concern, then go back to their conservative legislative efforts.
Then this, too, will pass. As will the next round. Until the American voters – the only ones, it seems, with the real power – decide they want a change.
A little over a week after Mr Trump was inaugurated as president they were having lunch with him at the White House, the couple told the Hollywood gossip magazine, when he proposed they wed at Mar-a-Lago, which he has nicknamed the Winter White House.
“That’s when [White House senior adviser] Jared [Kushner] interrupted and said, ‘Hey, you know what? I’ve got my license. I could marry you,'” Scarborough told the magazine.
Scarborough said Mr Trump snapped at his son-in-law: “Why would you marry them? They could have the President of the United States marry them.”
It comes after Ivanka Trump complained about vituperative attacks on her father earlier this month.
“There’s a level of viciousness I wasn’t expecting” in Washington DC, the first daughter told Fox News.
Following Mr Trump’s attack on Brzezinksi, online critics noted that his wife, Melania Trump, had expressed a desire during the election to campaign against cyber-bullying.
Asked on Thursday about her agenda, a spokesman for the first lady said Mrs Trump is “continuing to be thoughtful about her platform”, according to NBC’s Peter