Donald Trump’s latest outrage against decency is a sustained attack on MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, centering on the death of a staffer during Scarborough’s time as a Republican member of Congress. In 2001, Lori Klausutis died alone in a Florida office. According to the medical examiner, she fainted as the result of a heart condition and hit her head on a desk.
Trump has repeatedly tweeted about Klausutis’ death in recent weeks. “A lot of interest in this story about Psycho Joe Scarborough.” “Did he get away with murder? Some people think so.” The attacks continued into Tuesday morning, even after Klausutis’ widower wrote a heart-wrenching letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey asking him to take down the tweets. “As her husband, I feel that one of my marital obligations is to protect her memory as I would have protected her life,” Timothy Klausutis wrote.
Even after that letter was widely shared, Trump tweeted: ”The opening of a Cold Case against Psycho Joe Scarborough was not a Donald Trump original thought, this has been going on for years, long before I joined the chorus. In 2016 when Joe & his wacky future ex-wife, Mika, would endlessly interview me, I would always be thinking.…” continuing “….about whether or not Joe could have done such a horrible thing? Maybe or maybe not, but I find Joe to be a total Nut Job, and I knew him well, far better than most. So many unanswered & obvious questions, but I won’t bring them up now! Law enforcement eventually will?”
So that’s the U.S. president, suggesting an investigation into a death that was investigated when it happened nearly 20 years ago, as the still-grieving family of the deceased begs him to stop. Here are some of the words Timothy Klausutis used to describe what Trump, his son Don Jr., and his followers are doing: “Bile and misinformation.” “Horrifying lies.” “Repeatedly debunked falsehood.” “Vicious lie.”
Those words are from Klausutis’ letter to Dorsey. Other members of the Klausutis family are staying quiet because they’re afraid of the harassment they’d face in retaliation. “There’s a lot we would love to say, but we can’t,” according to Lori’s brother-in-law. Scarborough spoke up for Klausutis’ family earlier in May, saying: “You don’t understand the pain you cause to families who’ve already lost a loved one, not me.”
Donald Trump doesn’t care. It’s a weapon against a media personality who’s been critical of him, and that’s the only thing that matters to him.