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MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ calls Trump ‘unspeakably cruel’ for pushing debunked conspiracy theory

By Fabrice Pierre-Toussaint

Staff Writer for Telegraph Local | See my LinkedIn

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” called President Donald Trump’s repeated comments of a debunked conspiracy theory that host Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of a former staffer nearly twenty years ago “unspeakably cruel.” 

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The comment came during Tuesday’s show as Scarborough and co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist were discussing a letter published by the New York Times written by the late staffer’s husband to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

“My request is simple: Please delete these tweets,” Timothy Klausutis wrote of Trump’s posts. “I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong to him to the memory of my dead wife and perverted it for perceived political gain.

“My wife deserves better,” he wrote.

“I know all too well how much T.J. [Klausutis] has suffered, and how much he’s told me his family has suffered… Every time they spread these lies, they’re hurting the family,” Scarborough said near the top of the show. “What the Klausutis, the entire family have had to endure for 19 years, it’s unspeakably cruel, whether it’s the president or the people following the president, it’s unspeakably cruel. These are not public figures.”

“And made worse by Twitter,” added Brzezinski.

“The president showed no humanity whatsoever,” Geist said. “If you want to come after us and our show like you have been for four years, that’s fine we can take that. We ignore it, we get on with our lives. But you’re talking about someone who grapples everyday with the passing of his wife.”

Lori Kaye Klausutis passed away in 2001 after hitting her head on a desk after fainting from an undiagnosed heart condition at 28 years old. She was working in Florida for Scarborough, a U.S. congressman at the time who was in Washington, D.C. when she died.

Police ruled it an accident, yet Trump continues to push baseless accusations against Scarborough.

“A blow to her head? Body found under his desk? Left Congress suddenly? Big topic of discussion in Florida…and, he’s a Nut Job (with bad ratings),” the president wrote Saturday, one of several tweets he posted about the subject over the holiday weekend. “Keep digging, use forensic geniuses!”

Despite the publication of Klausutis’ letter, Trump tweeted about the case again Tuesday morning, writing, “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.”

“So many unanswered & obvious questions, but I won’t bring them up now!”, he added in a second post. “Law enforcement eventually will?”

Fort Walton Beach authorities have never indicated an intention to reopen the case, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

Twitter’s policy is to flag posts from political figures that break its rules, but are in the public interest. The company hasn’t done that to any of Trump’s tweets that refer to Klausutis’ death.

“We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family,” a Twitter spokesperson stated to Variety. “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.”

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Some of the president’s most vicious attacks against the media have come against Scarborough and Brzezinski. “Morning Joe” was one of the first programs to take Trump’s candidacy seriously nearly five years ago and he appeared on the show regularly during the campaign. Trump turned on the couple as coverage became more critical.

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