The husband of Lori Klausutis, the woman who died while an aide for then-GOP representative Joe Scarborough, wrote to Twitter last week imploring the platform to delete President Donald Trump’s tweets about his late wife. The letter was obtained by New York Times opinion writer Kara Swisher and read on Scarborough’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday.
According to Swisher’s Tuesday piece, “Twitter Must Cleanse the Trump Stain,” Timothy Klausutis letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey read, “Please delete those tweets. My wife deserves better.”
He went on, “President Trump on Tuesday tweeted to his nearly 80 million followers alluding to the repeatedly debunked falsehood that my wife was murdered by her boss, former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough. The son of the president followed and more directly attacked my wife by tweeting to his followers as the means of spreading this vicious lie.”
Twitter apologized in a statement on Monday morning but sidestepped the question of whether it would delete or otherwise mark Trump and others’ tweets on the matter. “We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ve been working to expand existing product features and policies so we can more effectively address things like this going forward, and we hope to have those changes in place shortly.”
Swisher, a tech writer known for founding Re-code, called on Twitter to address what she called Trump’s “appalling and rule-breaking Twitter habit.” She wrote, “Mr. Klausutis deserves an answer from Mr. Dorsey, who has the unenviable task of sorting out what is perhaps unsortable, which is to say, the ugly heart of Twitter’s most famous customer.”
Swisher pointed out that while the right-wing conspiracy surrounding Scarborough’s late aide is not unlike those surrounding the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich or the Sandy Hook shooting in substance, those have failed to reach the level of a tweet from Trump.
Klausitis suffered from an undiagnosed heart condition and died after hitting her on her desk nearly 19 years ago.
On Saturday, the president tweeted a suggestion that Scarborough, who frequently criticizes Trump, murdered Klausutis: “A blow to her head? Body found under his desk? Left Congress suddenly? Big topic of discussion in Florida…and, he’s a Nut Job (with bad ratings). Keep digging, use forensic geniuses!”
Klausutis’ husband wrote that he had reviewed Twitter’s terms and conditions and found that the tweet suggesting the MSNBC host might have murdered her violates the platform’s TOS, according to excerpts of his letter read on “Morning Joe.”