Trump raises conspiracy theory to attack MSNBC’s Scarborough

President Trump on Monday referred to the accidental death of an intern in former Rep. Joe Scarborough’s office to take a shot at the MSNBC “Morning Joe” host, who the president has frequently feuded with during his time in office.

“‘Concast’ should open up a long overdue Florida Cold Case against Psycho Joe Scarborough,” Trump wrote on Twitter, using a derogatory nickname for the Comcast company, which owns MSNBC.

“I know him and Crazy Mika well, used them beautifully in the last Election, dumped them nicely, and will state on the record that he is ‘nuts’. Besides, bad ratings! #OPENJOECOLDCASE,” he added.

This is just the latest example of Trump attacking Scarborough over the death of Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old intern for the commentator when he was a GOP congressman representing a district in Florida.

Klausutis died in 2001 in Scarborough’s district office. A local medical examiner ruled the death an accident, saying Klausutis had collapsed and hit her head on the side of a desk. She had an undiagnosed heart condition, according to the medical examiner, and the head trauma caused a fatal blood clot.

Scarborough responded to the president’s tweet on the air Monday morning, ripping him for dragging Klausutis’s family through the mud.

“You, once again, drag a family through this and make them relive it again, just like Seth Rich’s parents,” Scarborough said in reference to a former Democratic National Committee staffer killed in Washington, D.C., in July 2016.

Police determined that Rich was shot and killed as part of a robbery, but conspiracy theories suggesting ulterior motives have circulated among the far-right.

“As if losing a loved one the first time isn’t enough,” Scarborough added. “But this weekend, my God. You were supposed to have a working weekend. You got it wrong again.”

MSNBC expressed support for its “Morning Joe” co-hosts in a statement on Monday afternoon. 

“Attempts to intimidate and bully the free press, including through the bizarre peddling of fringe conspiracy theories, will not prevent Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski or any of MSNBC’s journalists or analysts from holding power to account. We’ll continue to accurately and thoroughly report on the White House’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic,” an MSNBC spokesperson told The Hill in an email.

Trump has twice raised the incident without mentioning Klausutis by name or the medical examiner’s report, suggesting there is some conspiracy behind the aide’s death.

Trump in a November 2017 tweet attacking Scarborough and MSNBC President Phil Griffin described Klausutis’s death as an unsolved mystery, prompting the MSNBC host to respond on Twitter that Trump was “not well.”

“Looks like I picked a good day to stop responding to Trump’s bizarre tweets,” Scarborough wrote on Nov. 19, 2017. “He is not well.”

Trump was a frequent “Morning Joe” guest during his bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2015 and 2016, but he and the show’s host have been locked in a bitter feud ever since.

—Updated at 1:20 p.m.

Tags Conspiracy theories Donald Trump Joe Scarborough Mika Brzezinski Morning Joe MSNBC Trump tweets

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