Donald Trump again tweeted a baseless conspiracy theory about Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough, again suggesting that he was involved in a murder. But what’s revealing is the ho-hum reaction to the President’s wild claims.
Instead of trending, the tweet, like dozens of others the past few days, barely even registered. On Tuesday morning, much of the media’s attention has been on the Supreme Court oral arguments in a case on congressional efforts to obtain Trump’s tax returns, while members of the White House coronavirus task force testify on Capitol Hill.
Trump’s tweet probably would not even get any attention if he were a private citizen and not President, as it is a claim made with no evidence.
He’s raised it several times before, but probably not as directly as he did Tuesday.
Trump tweeted, “When will they open a Cold Case on the Psycho Joe Scarborough matter in Florida. Did he get away with murder? Some people think so. Why did he leave Congress so quietly and quickly? Isn’t it obvious? What’s happening now? A total nut job!”
Scarborough, who has been critical of Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, was informed of the tweet when Morning Joe was still on the air, and he responded, “Donald, for your sake, and for the sake of America, you need to stop watching our show. OK? It’s not good for you.”
He added, “Why don’t you stop tweeting? Why don’t you turn off the television, and why don’t you start working.”
Trump made a similar claim last week during Morning Joe, and Scarborough had a similar response.
The tweet refers to the case of Lori Klausutis, who worked in Scarborough’s Florida office when he was still serving in Congress. She died unexpectedly in 2001, and an autopsy revealed she had an undiagnosed heart condition and lost consciousness, hitting her head on a desk. But it is not a “cold case.” In 2017, when Trump raised the claim back then, Politifact concluded, “This case is not unsolved. It is not a mystery. Trump’s claim rates Pants on Fire!”
Later on Tuesday, other cable news personalities chimed in on Trump’s tweet. Jake Tapper of CNN wrote, “Her name was Lori Klausutis. She was 28. And her family deserves far better than the president and his minions using the tragedy of her death as a crude cudgel to attack a critic. It’s indecent and inhumane.”