POLITICS

Wall Street Journal Board Condemns Trump's 'Presidential Smear' Of Joe Scarborough

The president's attacks on the MSNBC host are "ugly even for him," the conservative newspaper's editorial board wrote in a column.

The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal published a column Tuesday condemning President Donald Trump’s implications that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was responsible for an aide’s death.

The column, titled “A Presidential Smear,” deplores Trump’s baseless accusations against the “Morning Joe” host. The president has been tweeting suggestions that Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, was involved in the 2001 death of a staffer in his Florida office. 

The editorial noted that Trump “sometimes traffics in conspiracy theories” but labeled his latest accusation “ugly even for him.”

Lori Klausutis, 28, died after hitting her head on a desk. Authorities determined that she fainted due to a previously undiagnosed heart condition and ruled that her death was accidental.

“Mr. Trump always hits back at critics, and Mr. Scarborough has called the President mentally ill, among other things. But suggesting that the talk-show host is implicated in the woman’s death isn’t political hardball. It’s a smear,” the editorial board wrote.

“Mr. Trump rightly denounces the lies spread about him in the Steele dossier, yet here he is trafficking in the same sort of trash.”

The editorial also praised Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for calling out the president last weekend for spreading the unfounded conspiracy theory and asking him: “Just stop. Stop spreading it, stop creating paranoia. It will destroy us.”

The board acknowledged it had little expectation the president would stop. 

“Perhaps he even thinks this helps him politically, though we can’t imagine how,” the board wrote. “But Mr. Trump is debasing his office, and he’s hurting the country in doing so.”

This article has been updated to amend a reference to Klausutis’ title.