Scarborough says he's considering legal action against Trump over conspiracy tweets

MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe ScarboroughCharles (Joe) Joseph ScarboroughScarborough says comparisons of Capitol riot to summer protests irrelevant Scarborough: 'Pence is in fear for his life because of Donald J. Trump' Can the media regain credibility under Biden? MORE said in an interview that he has considered taking legal action against President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE for repeatedly amplifying an unfounded conspiracy theory about the death of one of Scarborough's former aides.

Scarborough, a former GOP lawmaker from Florida, told the Times Radio that he consulted defamation lawyers in New York and Washington, D.C., about a potential lawsuit after Trump suggested repeatedly last year that Scarborough may have murdered his aide.

The MSNBC host said he was advised by the lawyers that he could not sue Trump because he was the president. 


Scarborough said in the interview that aired Sunday he disagreed with the notion that the president is immune from legal action and also suggested he could potentially try to sue Trump in the future, without providing further details. 

“They said, well you can’t sue the president because he’s the president and he’s got immunity — which I disagree with, I think there may be a challenge there. I may sue him in the future,” Scarborough said.

“I am going to go back to the lawyer after he leaves office and I’m going to make sure — because why should a president be immune from a lawsuit if he does something like that?” he later added. 

Scarborough would be limited in his ability to sue Trump for defamation because the television personality would be considered a public figure.

Last summer, Trump repeatedly returned to promoting a baseless conspiracy theory that Scarborough was involved in the death of an aide, Lori Klausutis, in his Florida office in 2001 when he was a congressman. Scarborough was in D.C. at the time of her death and the medical examiner ruled it an accident. Klausutis was found to have had an undiagnosed heart condition.


A handful of Republicans urged Trump to stop promoting the conspiracy theory last year. Klausutis’s widower also wrote to Twitter asking the platform to remove the tweets and accused Trump of perverting the memory of his deceased wife.

Twitter did not remove the tweets but eventually started adding labels to the president’s messages that contained false or misleading information. Twitter said it was permanently locking Trump’s account entirely earlier this month to prevent the incitement of violence, after a mob of the president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Scarborough suggested in the interview with Times Radio that he also considering suing Twitter for allowing Trump to publish the tweets about the conspiracy theory but that he was told the social media company was protected due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 

Scarborough said that he and his attorneys had a “back and forth” with Twitter that eventually resulted in them adding the warning labels to other tweets authored by Trump later on.