At Thursday’s White House briefing, OANN reporter Chanel Rion suggested to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany that President Donald Trump should welcome a defamation suit from MSNBC host and former congressman Joe Scarborough — so that Trump can depose him and further investigate the conspiracy theory that he murdered staffer Lori Klausutis.
Even McEnany herself seemed taken aback by the suggestion, saying “I have no further comments.”
Here's OAN's Chanel Rion asking Kayleigh McEnany about the possibility of Trump deposing Joe Scarborough in a lawsuit to find out if the MSNBC host actually killed Lori Klausutis. pic.twitter.com/rDyQlpMnov
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 28, 2020
Rion’s remarks stunned observers on social media.
.@ChanelRion no offense but have you ever heard of google? You didn’t think to search one of the 400 op-eds or articles explaining federal immunity, the Westfall Act and/or rulings like Wuterich v Murtha?
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) May 28, 2020
Just when you think that they can't get any lower, they start digging.
— Danny B (@RuprechtMtl) May 28, 2020
100,000 dead, and this is the pressing issue of the White House.
— MoreSkyPlease (@Moreskyplease) May 28, 2020
Wasn't Scarborough like 600 miles away when she died?
What hard hitting question is detective Trump going to ask?
— Joyous Panther (@JoyousPanther) May 28, 2020
For once, OANN reporter asks a question press sec didn’t seem to want to get.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 28, 2020
"Trump should open himself up to discovery" is a delicious plan that he should absolutely endorse. No repercussions.
— Nope. (@AlphaAmino) May 28, 2020
Doesn't Trump understand he would be deposed as well? or does the OANN reporter not understand that –
— Jefferson (@jeffersonalle) May 28, 2020
oann's hack is so insane. too insane for even kayleigh.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) May 28, 2020
Great. Then Trump can be deposed. Oh, wait, he usually fights those tooth and nail.
— Lisa Mondello (@lisamondello) May 28, 2020
All their questions are suggestions. Just like Hannity used to feed him talking points. He’s really a very weak-minded individual. .
— Stirling Bannock (@EnglAdvantage) May 28, 2020
It just doesn't get much more crassly exploitative and cynical than that.
— TimToad1961 (@TToad1961) May 28, 2020
Because of Nixon v. Fitzgerald, president cannot be sued for defamation stemming from presidential acts. I presume Rion was just ignorant of case law, but the actual extent of presidential speech immunity is an interesting question: https://t.co/CfqQZk8A1U https://t.co/SKiVAAEWII
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) May 28, 2020