Fox's Perino presses Trump official on Scarborough tweets: 'How does this help the president win?'

Fox News anchor Dana Perino pressed Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh on President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE's tweets promoting a conspiracy theory about MSNBC host Joe ScarboroughCharles (Joe) Joseph ScarboroughThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low Cheney clashes with Trump Trump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record MORE's role in the death of a staffer, asking Murtaugh how the posts "help the president win an election in November?"

Trump has in recent days repeatedly tweeted unfounded claims about the death of Lori Klausutis, an aide who worked in Scarborough's congressional office when he represented Florida as a GOP House member.

"There’s these ongoing tweets from the president and comments from the White House about the tweets in regard to Joe Scarborough and the intern that died in the office," Perino, a former George W. Bush White House press secretary, said. "The coroner said she had a heart defect that was undetected until she had actually passed away. And the president continues to tweet about this and talk about this and I wonder, from your perspective at the campaign, how does this help the President win an election in November?"


Murtaugh responded that he thought "most Americans have a clear understanding of the way President Trump uses Twitter."

"He’s got a long-standing feud with Joe Scarborough. I don’t think that’s a secret to anybody else," he said.

"Twitter is a way for the president to connect with his voters. We hear all the time from the president’s supporters that they like the way that the president expresses himself on Twitter because they say ‘here’s a guy who finally says the things out loud that I’m thinking myself,'" he continued. "President Trump is his own guy. He is who he is. And I don’t think that there are too many Americans who are not familiar with the way that he uses Twitter. So I think all of that is already calculated in when Americans will choose their president this coming November."

"But does it give you any pause about the widower of the young woman who’s asking the president to stop because he said it is soiling her memory unnecessarily?" Perino asked.

“I’m not going to get out ahead of the president,” Murtaugh replied. “He’s got this ongoing feud with Joe Scarborough and I think it’s plain to see for everybody.” 


The back-and-forth comes one day after Klausutis's widower asked Twitter in writing to remove the posts by Trump.

Klausutis died in 2001 after an abnormal heart rhythm caused her to lose consciousness and hit her head on a desk in Scarborough’s congressional office in Florida. Her death was ruled an accident and Scarborough was in Washington, D.C., at the time.

"My request is simple: Please delete these tweets," Timothy Klausutis wrote on Tuesday.

Twitter expressed sympathy for the pain the president is causing the family but refused to take down the tweets. 

Scarborough and Trump's feud goes back to May 2016 after the real estate mogul captured the Republican presidential nomination. 

Up until that point in the campaign, Scarborough and co-host Mika BrzezinskiMika Emilie BrzezinskiThe Memo: Trump's Scarborough tweets unsettle his allies Fox's Perino presses Trump official on Scarborough tweets: 'How does this help the president win?' Cheney says Trump should stop tweeting Scarborough conspiracy MORE conducted friendly interviews with the former NBC "Apprentice" star.