Politics & Policy

Trump’s Grotesque Tweets

President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus response briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 18, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

No one goes to Donald Trump’s Twitter feed to be edified, but Trump’s series of tweets the last two weeks about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has been grotesque even by his standards.

Trump didn’t leave it at boasting about how he supposedly used Scarborough in 2016 (when the host gave him kid-glove treatment), or at mocking Scarborough’s ratings, or calling him “nuts,” all of which would have been routine unpresidential conduct, but insinuated that Scarborough is guilty of murdering a young woman who died in one of his Florida district offices in 2001 when he was a congressman.

The medical examiner concluded that the woman, 28-year-old Lori Klausutis, had an undiagnosed heart ailment and fainted and hit her head on a desk. This tragedy has been fodder for conspiracy theorists almost from the beginning, most notably — until Trump surpassed him — Markos Moulitsas of the left-wing website Daily Kos.

Trump is clearly driven by his desire to say the most malicious and painful things he can about Scarborough, to take revenge for the former congressman’s now obsessively anti-Trump morning program. The president maintains he doesn’t watch, although this is plainly untrue. The collateral damage is the family of Lori Klausutis, who had to endure her sudden loss and now watch helplessly as the president pushes a deception about her death for his own petty purposes.

It’s unworthy of a partisan blogger, let alone the president of the United States.

The Editors comprise the senior editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

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