Donald Trump attacked the TV host Mika Brzezinski over her appearance no more than an hour after she accused him on MSNBC of "lying every day", "destroying the country" and having "teensy" hands.
The US President, who has previously claimed he does not watch MSNBC, was met with a chorus of bipartisan disapproval after he called the Morning Joe co-host "crazy", adding she had "a low IQ" and "was bleeding badly from a face-lift".
It took the US President two tweets to draw attention back to his attitude towards women, a day after he singled out a female reporter for her "nice smile".
What prompted Mr Trump to make such a personal attack on the MSNBC host was a series of scathing comments made by Ms Brzezinski on the morning show following revelations a fake Time magazine cover with an entire cover photo of Mr Trump was framed and hung up in at least four of the President's golf clubs, including in Scotland.
"Nothing makes a man feel better than making a fake cover of a magazine about himself, lying every day and destroying the country," Ms Brzezinski said on air.
She added: "He's covering his hands here [on the fake Time magazine cover] because they're teensy."
The first tweets in response to Ms Brzezinski comments came just before 9am Eastern time in the US. Within the hour, Mr Trump had responded with his personal attack.
The fake Time cover dated from 1 March 2009 is thought to have been used to impress the clubs' guests with evidence of Mr Trump's importance and influence before he was elected US President last November.
But no issue of the Time magazine had Mr Trump in the cover in 2009.
“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore),” Mr Trump tweeted. “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!”
Following President Trump's own retaliation, Ms Brzezinski responded by tweeting a photo of a cereal box reading "Made for little hands" in reference to a known preoccupation he has about the size of his hands.
This was not the first time, Mr Trump hit out at the television host. In August last year, he tweeted: "Tried watching low-rated @Morning_Joe this morning, unwatchable! @morningmika is off the wall, a neurotic and not very bright mess!".
But reacting to Mr Trump's tweets, Republican Senator Lynn Jenkins pointed out to the sexist nature of Mr Trump's remarks. She tweeted: "This is not okay. As a female in politics I am often criticised for my looks. We should be working to empower women."
Experts told the Associated Press that although the US President is getting away with calling a man "a psycho" and saying a woman has "low IQ" and was "bleeding badly from a face-lift", ordinary people would not get away with it.
Mike Driehorst, a social media expert at the marketing agency Weaving Influence, said: "Mr Trump would be fired for his tweets of today, and nearly everyday. Most companies have a thin skin when it comes to public criticism and media reports."
Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attempted to defend the President's tweets. She said: "This is a President who fights fire with fire, and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by liberal media, and the liberal elites within the media, or Hollywood, or anywhere else.”
While the fiery exchange between President Trump and Ms Brzezinski led many to take to social media and urge the President to "please just stop", saying the remarks were "beneath the office", the incident also highlights that despite Mr Trump accusing the media of "fake news", he himself displayed with little shame a made-up cover of a well-respected magazine.
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