President Trump’s continued promotion of a baseless conspiracy theory about the 2001 death of former Joe Scarborough staffer Lori Klausutis has “perverted” her memory “for perceived political gain,” her husband, Timothy J. Klausutis, wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. In the letter, Klausutis pleaded with Dorsey to delete Trump’s tweets.
“These conspiracy theorists, including most recently the President of the United States, continue to spread their bile and misinformation on your platform disparaging the memory of my wife and our marriage,” Klausutis wrote in a letter dated last week and published in a Kara Swisher column in the New York Times this week. “My request is simple: Please delete these tweets.”
Despite the global pandemic and economic crisis that has followed, Trump has paid a lot of attention in recent days to Klausutis’s death nearly two decades ago. Over the weekend, he encouraged “forensic geniuses” to “keep digging” and suggested that Klausutis was having an affair with Scarborough at the time of her death. On Tuesday, after Scarborough read her husband’s letter on MSNBC, Trump returned to the subject.
In his letter, Klausutis wrote that the barrage of conspiracy theories has made it hard to move on from his wife’s death.
“I have mourned my wife every day since her passing. I have tried to honor her memory and our marriage. As her husband, I feel that one of my marital obligations is to protect her memory as I would have protected her in life. There has been a constant barrage of falsehoods, half-truths, innuendo and conspiracy theories since the day she died. I realize that may sound like an exaggeration, unfortunately it is the verifiable truth. Because of this, I have struggled to move forward with my life.”
He asked Dorsey to delete tweets from both Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who has also promoted the conspiracy theory. “I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong him — the memory of my dead wife and perverted it for perceived political gain,” Klausutis wrote.
Twitter provided a statement to HuffPost that said little: “We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family. We’ve been working to expand existing product features and policies so we can more effectively address things like this going forward, and we hope to have those changes in place shortly.”
When asked by ABC News’ Jon Karl why the president would forward such a baseless allegation, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany had a roundabout answer, encouraging people to refer to a 2003 clip from Don Imus’s radio show in which Scarborough laughed at a joke made by Imus regarding Klausutis’s death. Shortly after, Mike Brzezinski replied to McEnany on Twitter:
The bizarre scandal continued to unfold as Tuesday wore on. While Joe Biden called for Twitter to take action regarding the message, Trump said that he had seen the letter from Timothy Klausutis,