Twitter users mad about Donald Trump's claim connecting Joe Scarborough to the death of his former congressional staffer are hitting back, inventing a woman named "Carolyn Gombell" that they claim the president murdered.
A number of Trump critics began tweeting about the fictional woman, who some claimed had been his personal assistant. This was in response to the president's repeated claims about the death of Lori Klausutis, who worked in Scarborough's office when he was a Florida congressman and died of a result of an undiagnosed heart condition while in the office in 2001. A medical examiner concluded that Klausutis collapsed at work and hit her head on a desk.
Trump has been spreading theories that Scarborough may have played a role in her passing, and has not taken back the tweets or apologized, even after the woman's widower wrote a letter to Twitter, calling the president's statements "horrifying lies" and asking the site to delete the posts.
The social media giant declined, and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended the tweets to reporters on Tuesday, saying that it is Scarborough, not Trump, who needs to answer for what happened to his former staffer.This is not the first time that Trump has been slammed for pushing baseless conspiracy theories. He previously shared theories that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's father was involved in some way in the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy and that more than 5 million illegal aliens voted in the 2016 presidential election, robbing him of a victory in the popular vote. The president was also one of the central figures of the birther movement, a theory claiming that Barack Obama was not really born in the United States and faked his birth certificate, which critics said was rooted in racism.
In response to Trump's refusal to take back the tweets, many of his opponents began spreading the fictional theory that Trump murdered Gombell. Many admitted it was fake in sharing the messages, saying that the president deserves to be on the other end of baseless conspiracy theories if he is going to continue to do that to others."I don't care that Donald Trump didn't really murder Carolyn Gombell," tweeted political analysis site Palmer Report. "I don't care that Carolyn Gombell doesn't even exist. I'm still demanding #JusticeForCarolyn because why the hell not? If Trump can demand investigations into imaginary murders, the rest of us can too!"
Others shared that hashtag #JusticeForCarolyn, which reached the top of Twitter's trends for the United States late on Tuesday evening.