Weekly Standard co-founder to GOP's Steve King: You are 'a stain on American public life'

Weekly Standard co-founder John Podhoretz ripped Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingSteve King fundraising off controversy surrounding white supremacy comments Steve King's primary challenger raises more than 0k in first 10 days of campaign GOP can't excommunicate King and ignore Trump playing to white supremacy and racism MORE for agreeing with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ MORE's assertion that the defunct conservative publication was "pathetic and dishonest," calling the Iowa Republican "a disgusting liar and a stain on American public life." 

The Sunday afternoon slam by Podhoretz, who co-founded The Weekly Standard in 1995 along with Fred Barnes and outspoken Trump critic Bill Kristol, came after King took to Twitter to state that the magazine's demise was "deserved." 

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The congressman added while retweeting the president calling Kristol a clueless "failed prognosticator" that if the articles targeting him "were redacted until only truth remained, there would not be much left to read." 

"@RealDonaldTrump is right on The Weekly Standard’s deserved demise ('pathetic and dishonest')," wrote King. "If the articles targeting me were redacted until only truth remained, there would not be much left to read."

Podhoretz, who served as a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and is currently the editor of Commentary magazine, went off on King not long after his tweet.

"The problem with this tweet is that you are a foul, disgusting liar and a stain on American public life," Podhoretz wrote on Twitter. "The stench of your deceit and your views pollutes your district, your state, your party, and the United States."

Critics had charged that the publication's readership dwindled because it, and particularly Kristol, had alienated Trump supporters by regularly ridiculing the president. In September, for example, Kristol announced during an interview with CNBC that he was building a "war machine" within the Republican Party to challenge the president's 2020 reelection campaign. He also called Trump "disgraceful" and "buffoonish" in other interviews.

In a note sent to employees last week, Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Stephen F. Hayes said he was proud of the conservative publication's "independent" and "substantive" reporting while praising the writing staff for not "giving into the pull of polarization and the lure of clickbait."

"This is a volatile time in American journalism and politics," Hayes, also a Fox News contributor, wrote in the note first obtained by CNN. "Many media outlets have responded to the challenges of the moment by prioritizing affirmation over information, giving into the pull of polarization and the lure of clickbait."

"I'm proud that we've remained both conservative and independent, providing substantive reporting and analysis based on facts, logic and reason," he added.

The shuttering of The Weekly Standard comes as Clarity Media Group, its parent company, announced that the conservative weekly magazine the Washington Examiner would be relaunching with a broader national distribution.