President Trump used the news of NBC’s firing of Today host Matt Lauer to promote a bizarre conspiracy theory that Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough had something to do with the death of a woman who worked for him in 2001.
“So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin?” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the ‘unsolved mystery’ that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!”
So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the “unsolved mystery” that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
The “unsolved mystery” Trump alluded to involves the death of Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old congressional aide in Scarborough’s Fort Walton Beach, Fla., office, when he was still a Republican representative.
According to a report at the time by the St. Petersburg Times, Klausutis told a coworker she wasn’t feeling well the day before she was found dead on the floor next to her desk in Scarborough’s district office.
Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Berkland told the St. Petersburg Times that Klausutis lost consciousness because of an abnormal heart rhythm and fell, hitting her head on a desk, which caused her death.
Despite that, the death has been touted as a conspiracy theory against Scarborough since he left Congress and became a popular television personality on MSNBC. Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the liberal Daily Kos blog, was banned from the network in 2010 after he brought up the incident on Twitter.
“Looks like I picked a good day to stop responding to Trump’s bizarre tweets,” Scarborough wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “He is not well.”
Looks like I picked a good day to stop responding to Trump's bizarre tweets. He is not well. https://t.co/XJhW5ZHNfs
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) November 29, 2017
Scarborough’s brother, George, an outspoken Trump supporter, lashed out at the president for pushing a “bold lie” from more than 20 years ago that “has put a huge emotional drain on my family.”
“I need to see a public apology to my brother Joe or else he has lost my support for good,” George Scarborough wrote on Twitter.
Outrageous reference re @JoeNBC where @potus @realDonaldTrump just crossed the line with me. I need to see a public apology to my brother Joe or else he has lost my support for good … which is saying a ton given all the support I’ve shown him in past 2 years. https://t.co/3lXfBPnaTV
— George Scarborough (@GeoScarborough) November 29, 2017
After news of Lauer’s termination over alleged “inappropriate sexual behavior” broke, Trump hurled an unsubstantiated attack at NBC and parent company Comcast for “putting out so much Fake News.” The president also retweeted several inflammatory anti-Muslim videos from a fringe British political group, a move that earned him praise from white supremacist David Duke and criticism from world leaders across the globe.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s anti-Muslim retweets. “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about,” Sanders said.
“Something is unleashed with him lately. I don’t know what is causing it. I don’t know how to describe it,” New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said during an appearance on CNN Wednesday morning. “I think the last couple of day’s tweets have been markedly accelerated in terms of seeming a little unmoored.”