- The staffer Lori Klausutis' widower Timothy Klausutis, wrote a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey asking him to remove Trump's tweets suggesting Scarborough was involved and law enforcement should investigate the matter.
- Trump claimed that Klausutis, the widower, wants to "get to the bottom of it," despite him expressing no desire for the matter to be further relitigated or publicly investigated in his letter.
- A medical examiner determined that Klausutis, who died in 2001 at the age of 28, fainted as a result of an undiagnosed heart condition, fell, and hit her head on a desk in Scarborough's district office.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .
In a Tuesday afternoon press conference about expanding access to insulin for seniors with diabetes during the COVID-19, President Donald Trump doubled down on promoting a false conspiracy theory that former congressman Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of a former staffer, even as the staffer's widower begs him to stop.
For the past several weeks, Trump has resurfaced a debunked conspiracy theory that Scarborough, in his capacity as a congressman from Florida, was involved in the death of former staffer Lori Klausutis, who was found dead in his office at the age of 28 in 2001.
A medical examiner determined that Klausutis fainted as a result of an undiagnosed heart condition, fell, and hit her head on a desk. The examiner found no evidence that anyone played a role in her death. Since the death was ruled due to natural causes, no one has ever been charged and there is no cold case, as Trump has claimed in several tweets . Scarborough, the co-host of "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, is now an extremely vocal Trump critic.
On Tuesday morning, The New York Times published an op-ed from technology writer Kara Swisher about a letter Klausutis' widower, T.J. Klausutis, wrote to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explaining that the "frequency, intensity, ugliness, and promulgation of these horrifying lies" has caused him and his family great distress and asked Dorsey to delete the tweets.
Twitter said they would not delete the tweets, with a spokesperson telling Insider in a statement that they are "deeply sorry" for the pain Trump's tweets have caused Klausitus' surviving family members, and are "working to expand existing product features and policies so we can more effectively address things like this going forward."
As of now, Trump's tweets will still remain on the site. And instead of backing down, Trump and his representatives have doubled down and defended Trump propagating the conspiracies in a Tuesday morning tweet , a mid-afternoon briefing held by press secretary Kayleigh McEnany , and then in at the late afternoon event in the Rose Garden.
"A lot of people suggest that," Trump said of the conspiracy that Scarborough was involved, without evidence, in response to Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asking about the tweets. "And hopefully, someday people are going to find out. It's certainly a very serious situation, very sad and very suspicious."
Then, when Associated Press reporter Jill Colvin followed up to ask if Trump has seen the letter and specifically how much pain Klausutis said his tweets have caused the family, Trump said, "Yeah I have, but ultimately I'm sure they want to get to the bottom of it, and it's a very serious situation."
In his letter to Dorsey , however, Klausutis expressed no desire for law enforcement to further investigate or "get to the bottom" of his wife's death. He explicitly asked Trump to stop spreading unverified conspiracies and for Twitter not to give him a platform to do so, writing, "the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong to him the memory of my dead wife and perverted it for perceived political gain."
Trump then referred to a 2003 clip of an appearance Scarborough made on the Don Imus show in which Imus joked about him killing an intern. Trump said, "They were having a lot of fun at her expense, I thought it was totally inappropriate. It's a very suspicious thing and I hope someone gets to the bottom of it, it'll be a very good thing. There's no statute of limitations, as you know, it'll be a very good thing to do."
- White House press secretary defends Trump's false accusation that an MSNBC host killed his staffer: 'Joe Scarborough brought this up'
- Trump threatens to pull the GOP convention from North Carolina if the state can't promise a full-capacity arena, blaming the governor's 'shutdown mood'
- Trump marks Memorial Day by defending his weekend of golfing as the US coronavirus death toll creeps toward 100,000