City Pages, an alternative weekly covering Minneapolis and St. Paul, published an article Friday headlined, “Let's laugh at all these very good 'Trump has COVID' tweets.”
Editor-in-chief Emily Cassel led the piece by writing, “So President Trump and the First Lady have COVID. Man, anyone else just in a really, inexplicably good mood this morning?”
Publisher Mary Erickson described the article as "insensitive and in bad taste."
"While it is in the spirit of alt-weekly journalism to provoke and to push boundaries, in this case we went too far. We apologize to our readers and to our advertisers, and wish President and Mrs. Trump a safe and speedy recovery," Erickson added.
In the article, Cassel mocked anyone who might have come into contact with Trump at a pair of campaign events in Minnesota earlier this week.
“Trump was in Minnesota [on] Wednesday for an enormous outdoor rally in Duluth and a big ol' indoor Twin Cities fundraiser with some of the state's wealthiest GOP donors. (Gee, I sure hope those billionaires are alright!!!),” she wrote.
City Pages, an alternative weekly covering Minneapolis and St. Paul, published a piece on Friday headlined, “Let's laugh at all these very good 'Trump has COVID' tweets.”
“Meanwhile, feeling a hit of dopamine for the first time since ... March? 2016? ... It's the first time in a really long time scrolling isn't inherently doomscrolling,” Cassel added before embedding the some of the “very good” tweets mocking the president and first lady Melania Trump.
The editor-in-chief also condemned liberals such as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who have expressed concern for Trump despite disagreeing with him politically.
“Now, some blue-check liberals out there are saying it's not cool or noble or taking the high road to joke about Trump getting coronavirus, and to them we say: Biiiig fart noise,” she wrote.
The tweets Cassel highlighted in the article were in a similar vein, with one reading: “I think I speak for everyone when I say that it would be insanely funny if he died of the coronavirus."
City Pages is owned by the Star Tribune Media Company, which was criticized by the Trump campaign before the article was pulled.
“It’s sad to see a major newspaper implicitly endorse these vile and hateful sentiments,” Trump campaign spokesperson Jacob Schneider told Fox News.
The Trump campaign found that Cassel had also celebrated Trump’s diagnosis on her verified Twitter feed.
Cassel provided Fox News with the following statement: “Regarding my blog post and the subsequent blowback, I would simply like to quote the president: ‘Every time I speak of the haters and losers I do so with great love and affection. They cannot help the fact that they were born f----d up!’”
She was quoting a tweet Trump sent in 2014.
City Pages also responded to the Trump campaign by urging readers to “Please click this important link for the FULL STORY.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.