White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it would be "highly inappropriate" to criticise Chief Of Staff John F Kelly over his recent remarks towards Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. During a press briefing on Friday, Sanders told reporters: "If you want to go after General Kelly, that's up to you. But I think that if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, that's something that's highly inappropriate."

Kelly recently criticised Wilson over a condolence phone call Trump placed to a Gold Star family during which the president controversially told the widow of a fallen soldier that her husband "knew what he signed up for." Kelly also took aim at Wilson for allegedly boasting about securing funding for a federal building named for two slain FBI agents and failing to honour the agents.

His account was later disproved after a video of the event emerged.

Kelly is a retired four-star Marine general who served in the military for over four decades and is also a Gold Star parent who lost a son in Afghanistan.

Twitter, on the other hand, immediately resurfaced some of President Donald Trump's old tweets attacking other four-star generals.

One of Trump's older tweets from July 2016 that was resurfaced by Representative Don Beyer of Virginia read: "General John Allen, who I never met but spoke against me last night, failed badly in his fight against ISIS. His record = BAD #NeverHillary".

In September, Trump targeted retired four-star General Colin Powell.

"I was never a fan of Colin Powell after his weak understanding of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq = disaster. We can do much better!" Trump wrote in September 2016.

"The hypocrisy is endless," one Twitter user wrote. Another said: "America is not an authoritarian regime (yet). It is very appropriate to question John Kelly, Donald Trump and everyone in this White House when they lie to the American people."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it would be "highly inappropriate" to criticise or question generals and Twitter responded by resurfacing some of Trump's earlier attacks REUTERS/Joshua Roberts