One is a politician so obsessed with a morning cable news show that he has sought retribution by repeatedly defaming a dead woman’s memory.

The other is a soft-spoken Air Force engineer who has worked on projects for 32 years with the singular goal of protecting and defending the United States. The 6-foot-3 Florida resident is still mourning the death of a wife he lost 19 years ago. He holds on to cherished memories of Lori Klausutis as a lifelong Republican, a devoted Catholic who sang in her church choir and an avid runner so perpetually cheerful that people called her “Little Miss Mary Sunshine.” After Lori’s death, T.J. Klausutis returned alone to the home the couple had just bought in Niceville, Fla., and faced an almost immediate barrage of Internet conspiracy theories about the “murder” of his wife.

The pace of those hateful lies ebbed and flowed with the years, until they swelled recently into a slimy tsunami of bilge spewing from President Trump’s 80-million-strong Twitter feed. I have never been able to grasp Trump’s bizarre fixation with “Morning Joe,” but that sad obsession has driven him to weaponize Lori’s memory in an attempt to settle some perceived grievance against me. Or perhaps to deflect from the 100,000 Americans lost to a disease he once dismissed as “one person coming in from China.”