President Trump at a podium

David Kadlubowski/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Scoot: Twitter spanks President Trump

May 27, 2020 - 12:18 pm

We should not be faced with the question of whether the President of the United States can promote false claims for the purpose of winning re-election. But that is the question America is facing.

Over the past few days - President Trump has used Twitter - which he has said is an outlet to release official statements from the White House - to spread false information for the purpose of positioning his image for the November election.

Using Twitter - President Trump resurrected an baseless claim that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of a young aide when Scarborough was a Republican congressman representing northwest Florida.

The death of 28-year-old Lori Klausutis was ruled “accidental” by the medical examiner. It was determined that she passed out in the office as a result of an irregular heartbeat from an undiagnosed heart valve disease and hit her head on a desk. Klausutis died from acute subdural hematoma.

Timothy Klausutis - Lori’s husband - sent a 3-page letter to Twitter asking that the tweets from President Trump be removed to stop the false accusations that have linked his wife from to illegal and salacious falsehoods. Twitter offered an apology to Mr. Klausutis.

Joe Scarborough - who co-hosts “Morning Joe” with his wife Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC - was a Republican congressman from Pensacola, Florida and has been a harsh critic of the Trump Administration. President Trump is known to viciously attack his critics - even if the critics base their criticism on facts.

With no evidence - President Trump continues to use Twitter to imply that Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of his aide.

The President has used Twitter to promote sketchy or even false information for the purpose of enhancing his political image.  Yesterday - Twitter delivered the ultimate blow to President Trump by fact-checking a couple of his tweets about the mail-in voting. Twitter went so far as to add “get the facts on mail-in ballots" with a link to numerous articles setting the record straight on mail-in ballots.

President Trump was outraged and is retaliating by saying the “we (the White House) will strongly regulate - or close them down,” claiming that Twitter is violating the President’s freedom of speech and is attempting to meddle in the 2020 Election.

This reaction from President Trump raises important questions. Should a POTUS have the freedom to make false claims and spread factually inaccurate news? And - has the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic and the negative signs that Trump’s image is suffering cause the President to become unhinged?

For a president who brought the term “fake news” into the everyday language of Americans - he appears to be complaining that he is not allowed to promote “fake news.”

The cry-baby attitude is unbefitting of a president, and the suggestion that attacking false information is an act of violating free speech is an insult to the First Amendment.

There is no justification for protecting false information delivered via Twitter or the media and this must be a moment when even President Trump’s staunch supporters face the reality that falsely accusing media opposition of murder to boost political popularity and complaining that a social media site holding President Trump accountable for promoting false news about mail-in ballots equals a violation of freedom of speech as a threat to our country - and our freedoms.

Even if Trump’s most loyal supporters ignore reality - there are signs that President Trump’s re-election bid may be in question and that the President is desperately reaching for false validation.

There are times when America must put politics aside and judge actions separate from political loyalty.

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