President Donald Trump ratcheted up his feud with MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Tuesday when he questioned whether the former Republican lawmaker had gotten away with killing one of his staffers in the early 2000s.
Trump tweeted about Scarborough's departure from Congress Tuesday morning, calling him "psycho" and a "total nut job" and writing that "some people" think the news personality may have gotten away with murder.According to Politico, the president is referring to the death of former Scarborough staffer Lori Klausutis. Klausutis worked out of the former representative's Fort Walton Beach, Florida office while he served as a congressman for the state's first district.
Klausutis died under suspicious circumstances -- however, an autopsy later reported a previously undiagnosed heart condition. While the stated cause of death was a blow to the head, the Associated Press reported the coroner laid out an explanation. They concluded that -- rather than being struck by another person -- Klausutis hit her head after passing out.
The staffer was in Washington at the time of her death, which occurred about approximately a month after Scarborough announced his departure from office.
Trump also tweeted about the case just over a week ago, saying the "cold case" should be re-opened.
Scarborough addressed the president's tweet during the May 4 broadcast of Morning Joe, suggesting his show's consistent references to confirmed science could be a potential reason for the attacks.The MSNBC host said he knows Trump "meant to be extraordinarily cruel to me by attacking me, by bringing up a conspiracy theory that has lived in the gutters of the internet for some time now." Scarborough accused him of not understanding "the pain you cause to families who have already lost a loved one."
Scarborough suggested that Trump step aside and let his vice president take the reigns for a while, saying the president "not well."
"Mr. President, I ask that you get checked out, I ask that you take a rest I ask that you take care of yourself. Maybe let Mike Pence run things for the next week, you're not well. Come back when you're feeling a little better and when you can really actually focus on your job. You just can't do that right now. Americans are dying every day because of it."Trump and Scarborough have a long history of disagreements, dating back to the president's early days running for office in 2015. The morning news host was himself a Republican politician, serving as a representative for six years between 1995 and 2001. Scarborough officially announced his political change in 2017, making the jump from Republican to independent the same year Trump was sworn in as president.
Trump has also launched attacks targeting Scarborough's wife and co-host, Mika Brzezinski, mocking her appearance and intelligence. His tweet caused several Republican lawmakers -- including Paul Ryan, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, and Lisa Murkowski -- to speak out against the president's treatment of the MSNBC host.