Taking to Twitter to launch an attack on MSNBC host Mike Brzezinski after she criticised his administration, Trump posted: “How come low IQ Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago three 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!”
Senior Republicans have been quick to distance themselves from the comments.
Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said: “Obviously, I don’t see this as an appropriate comment. What we are trying to do around here is improve the tone and civility of the debate and this obviously doesn’t do that.”
Additionally, Republican senator Lindsey Graham said: “My President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.”
Republican Senator Susan Collins said: “This has to stop.”
The White House defended Mr Trump and his comments.
“I don’t think that the President has ever been someone that gets attacked and doesn’t push back,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
“People on that show have personally attacked him many times.”
n a statement to CNN, Mr Trump’s wife Melania, who is an anti-cyber bullying campaigner, also stood by her husband’s tweets.
“As the First Lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder,” her communications director Stephanie Grisham added.