Trump’s burrs on downtown Scarborough on the death of Lori Klausutis in 2001, who worked in his office in Florida when he served in Congress. Scarborough’s opponents and a handful of Internet trolls tried to blame him for his death, even though he was in Washington at the time.
Trump raised the groundless theory once in 2017, causing a wave of fresh attention to Klausutis’ death – and unwanted phone calls to his family members.
Klausutis’ family and friends watched, some disgusted, but refrained from commenting publicly for fear of promoting conspiracy theory.
Widower of Klausutis, T.J. Klausutis took steps privately last week, writing to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and asking him to remove Trump’s tweets.
“Nearly 19 years ago, my wife, who had an undiagnosed heart condition, fell and hit her head on her desk at work. She was found dead the next morning. Her name was Lori Kaye Klausutis and she was 28 when she died,” he wrote. in a letter to Dorsey on May 21. “His disappearance is the most painful thing I have ever had to do with my 52 year old and he continues to persecute his parents and sister.”
T.J. he said he tried to honor his late wife by protecting his memory “how I would protect her in my life”.
He said that’s why he was writing to Dorsey.
“The President’s tweet suggesting that Lori was murdered – without evidence (and contrary to the official autopsy) – is a violation of the rules and terms of service of the Twitter community,” he wrote. “A normal user like me would be banned from the platform for such a tweet, but I only ask that these tweets be removed.”
Scarborough’s co-host and wife, Mika Brzezinski, has also exerted pressure, including on the “Morning Joe” program.
“You can keep tweeting about Joe, but you’re only hurting others,” Brzezinski told Trump aired last week.
On Sunday, when CNN Business asked Twitter if Trump’s “cold case” tweets violated its rules and if action had been taken, the company declined to comment.
Three hours later, Twitter told CNN Business that it would not remove the tweets.
“We are deeply sorry for the pain these statements and the attention they are attracting are causing the family,” said a Twitter spokesman. “We have worked to expand the functionality and policies of existing products so that we can tackle things like this more effectively in the future and hope to implement these changes shortly.”
The company did not provide details of what “product features and policies” worked to expand.
Last year, Twitter said it was instituting a policy that would have made some exceptions for world leaders like Trump. The company said it planned to release a disclaimer on future tweets from world leaders who break its rules but who Twitter decides are in the “public interest”.
Klausutis did not immediately comment on the Twitter statement.
It is not the first time that conservatives have tried to inflame a conspiracy theory about the death of a political staff to injure a democratic rival.
On Tuesday morning, the President posted twice more on Scarborough, apparently in response to news coverage of his behavior. He stressed that conspiracy theory was not an “original Donald Trump thought, this has been going on for years, long before I joined the chorus”.