The co-hosts of a US morning talk show have struck back against abusive tweets from President Donald Trump.
Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, in an article in the Washington Post, acknowledged making critical statements about Mr Trump’s presidency, but said: "Our concerns about his unmoored behaviour go far beyond the personal."
In a series of tweets on Thursday morning, the president went after Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who have criticised Mr Trump on their MSNBC show Morning Joe.
He wrote: "I heard poorly rated @Morning Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore).
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..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
"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.
...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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
"She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"
In the Washington Post piece, the cable television talk show hosts said: "America’s leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whether this man is fit to be president.
"We have out doubts, but we are both certain that the man is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show."
After Mr Trump’s initial tweets, Ms Brzezinski responded on Twitter by posting a photograph of a cereal box that includes 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.
NBC News spokeswoman Lorie Acio said in a statement: "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."
It was not immediately clear what set Mr Trump off, but about two hours before his tweets, Ms Brzezinski said on the show that "it’s not normal behaviour" for any leader to be tweeting about people’s appearances or to be bullying, lying and undermining managers.
She said that if any business executive behaved the way Mr Trump does, "there would be concern that perhaps the person who runs the company is out of his mind".
His latest crude broadside against a woman’s appearance set off a storm of protest from Republicans and Democrats alike.
South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, tweeted: "Mr President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America."
Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 29, 2017
House Speaker Paul Ryan said: "Obviously I don’t see that as an appropriate comment."
Republican Representative Lynn Jenkins said on Twitter: "This is not okay. As a female in politics I am often criticised for my looks. We should be working to empower women."
Connecticut senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat, called Mr Trump’s actions "monstrous".
Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended the president, suggesting the tweets were just his way of countering an attack.
"I don’t think that the president’s ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t push back," she said on Fox News.
"There have been an outrageous number of personal attacks - not just to him but to frankly everyone around him.
"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."
Mr Trump’s relationship with the Morning Joe hosts has taken several twists and turns.
Mr Scarborough was largely supportive of him during the election campaign, and he and his co-host spent time at the president’s Florida resort, a visit Mr Scarborough said was to arrange an interview.
However, the duo, who are engaged to be married, have since turned critical of Mr Trump.
About 15 minutes before the president tweeted, White House social media director Dan Scavino wrote: "#DumbAsARockMika and lover #JealousJoe are lost, confused & saddened since @POTUS @realDonaldTrump stopped returning their calls! Unhinged."