In the wake of Donald Trump's attack on the two TV presenters of MSNBC's Morning Joe, the hosts have accused the president of blackmail.

Trump faced fierce criticism after he issued two tweets on Thursday 29 June saying: "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!"

In the run up to the 2016 US election, Trump and the pair were on friendly terms, with the then candidate regularly making appearances on the show.

But Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski penned a reply to Trump in Friday's Washington Post saying: "This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked. We ignored their desperate pleas."

And while speaking about the incident on their show on Friday morning, Scarborough said: "The calls kept coming, and kept coming. And they were like 'Call, you need to call. Please call. Come on, Joe. Just pick up the phone and call him.

"It's blackmail."

The duo went on to suggest that the president was unstable and he had an "unhealthy obsession" with them.

After the allegations, Trump tweeted: "Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show."

The National Enquirer specialises in scandals and celebrity gossip with millions reading their print and online versions.

The TV hosts also added they had seen a change in the president over the past year, comparing the Twitter row with when Trump used to come on the show and joke with them.

Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 25: Television journalists Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski attend the 101st Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on April 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images