Trump says TV host 'bleeding badly from a face-lift'

Donald Trump is being roundly criticised, including from within his own party, for a personal attack on a US broadcaster.

He posted a pair of tweets about MSNBC's Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski around midnight (NZ time).

The US President claimed Ms Brzezinki sought an interview with him on New Year's Eve, but was bleeding badly from a face-lift so he said no.

"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!" Mr Trump said in two tweets.

Democrats and Mr Trump's own Republicans are united in their criticism.

"Obviously, I don't see that as an appropriate comment," House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

"This is not okay," Republican congresswoman Lynn Jenkins tweeted. "As a female in politics I am often criticized for my looks. We should be working to empower women."

Republican senator Lindsey Graham said: "Mr President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America."

Mr Trump's tweets are reminiscent of his comment in 2016 about then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

"You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."