The Fix's Callum Borchers explains the years-long feud between President Trump and the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe." (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

The hosts of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC criticized President Trump's Twitter habit Thursday — “that's your president of the United States lying to you,” Mika Brzezinski said of one tweet — and then, as if succumbing to involuntary spasms, Trump's thumbs tapped out whatever nasty, sexist thought popped into his head.

For the record, “Morning Joe” enjoyed its highest ratings ever in the second quarter of this year and has increased viewership in nine consecutive quarters.

And the notion that Brzezinski and Scarborough were desperate to hang out with Trump on New Year's Eve but were rebuffed seems dubious, at best. For one thing, the New York Times spotted the co-hosts at Trump's New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago. For another, Scarborough followed the report of their appearance by angrily protesting any suggestion that he and Brzezinski were trying to cozy up to the president-elect.

That's not the behavior of someone who wants to be seen as Trump's pal.

Scarborough said at the time that he and Brzezinski went to Mar-a-Lago to pitch an interview and left before the festivities were in full swing. The interview never happened, so we can assume Trump “said no” to the request. But his tweets Thursday suggested that he shot down an attempt to socialize, which does not comport with known history.

The truly jarring thing about the tweets is, of course, the blatantly sexist attack on Brzezinski. The posts followed a consistent pattern: When Trump hits Brzezinski and Scarborough on Twitter, he hits Brzezinski harder, more personally and in a way that seems designed to portray her as someone who is insecure (“facelift”) and unintelligent (“low IQ”) — and who would not be on TV if not for her romantic relationship with Scarborough, to whom she was recently engaged.

In response to Thursday's tweets, MSNBC said: “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.”

Brzezinski tweeted a response of her own.