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Romney, Cheney Call Out Trump for Tweets About Scarborough Aide's Death

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Romney, Cheney Call Out Trump for Tweets About Scarborough Aide's Death

2020-05-28 13:03:04

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Liz Cheney (Image source: Public domain)

It's widely known that Donald Trump's favorite way of communicating is on Twitter. He uses that as a mode of announcing new ideas, staff changes, and just about any other crazy idea that pops into his head. He also uses it to troll nemeses. 

While his Twitter habit has gone mostly unchecked during his time in office, now it seems that is starting to change. Not only did Twitter fact-check him after a pair of tweets that slammed mail-in ballots, but now even some Republicans are making it known they don't agree with him on his multiple tweetstorms about a debunked conspiracy theory surrounding MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough.

Not that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) are always in agreement with the president anyway, but with prominent GOP from both chambers of Congress saying he's wrong to continue these tweets, it's notable. 

In 2010 Scarborough was a Florida congressman. A few months after he announced he would be resigning his position, a young aide, Lori Klausutis, died in the Florida office while he was in Washington. The medical examiner has explained the death as stemming from a heart condition that caused her to collapse and hit her head, but Trump is questioning if Scarborough was somehow involved, suggesting he murdered her.

The problem is that this is extremely tough for the family of the young woman to go through. It was one thing to have baseless theories thrown around shortly after she died, but 19 years later, it's causing the family pain to be hit with Trump's repetitive tweetstorms. 

"I know Joe Scarborough," tweeted Romney, who frequently goes up against Trump. "Joe is a friend of mine. I don't know T.J. Klausutis. Joe can weather vile, baseless accusations, but T.J.? His heart is breaking. Enough already."

The widower in this case, Timothy Klausutis, wrote Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and asked him to remove Trump's posts about his wife. 

"My request is simple: please delete these tweets," he wrote. "The president's tweet that suggests that Lori was murdered without evidence and contrary to the official autopsy is a violation of Twitter's community rules and terms of service. An ordinary user like me would be banished from the platform for such a tweet, but I am only asking that these tweets be removed."

Twitter refused. Scarborough also wrote Dorsey with the same request, but not for himself. He did so on behalf of the family of his former aide. 

After a news conference with Republican leaders of the House, Cheney said Trump needed to cease and desist.

"I do think the president should stop tweeting about Joe Scarborough," said Cheney, the House Republican Conference chair. "We're in the middle of a pandemic. He's the commander in chief of this nation, and it's causing great pain to the family of the young woman who died, so I would urge him to stop it." 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) refused to chime in, stating he didn't know enough about it.

Trump remains unmoved on the matter. He was asked about Klausutis's letter to Dorsey at a news conference and opined that he is "sure that, ultimately, they want to get to the bottom of it, and it's a very serious situation." 

He believes, or at least he wants his followers to think he believes, that he's getting somewhere and that his tweets about the young woman's death and Scarborough are getting through. He tweeted on Wednesday morning that Scarborough "is rattled."  He also pushed again for "opening a cold case" about the Klausutis death.

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