The Slatest

Widowed Husband Asks Twitter CEO to Delete Trump Conspiracy Tweets About His Dead Wife

President Trump gestures as he leaves the press briefing room at the White House.
Are you not entertained? Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

Because Donald Trump is the president and because he is not up to the current pandemic moment in American history, he has recently taken to tweeting out conspiracy theories about MSNBC host and former congressman Joe Scarborough. The incident in question—the death of then 28-year-old Lori Klausutis, who collapsed from an undiagnosed heart condition at Scarborough’s Florida office in 2001—quite literally has nothing to do with President Donald Trump, other than that Scarborough has since morphed into a prominent critic of Trump, the president from the center of American political life. Trump doesn’t like criticism—real or perceived—and doesn’t care about anyone other than himself, so the president of the United States initiated a series of ad hominem tweets insinuating that Scarborough killed the former staffer. In response, Lori Klausutis’ widower, Timothy Klausutis, wrote Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey late last week asking him to take down Trump’s vile tweets about the death of his wife. “As her husband, I feel that one of my marital obligations is to protect her memory as I would have protected her in life,” Klausutis wrote. “My request is simple: Please delete these tweets.”

“Nearly 19 years ago, my wife, who had an undiagnosed heart condition, fell and hit her head on her desk at work. She was found dead the next morning. … Her passing is the single most painful thing that I have ever had to deal with in my 52 years and continues to haunt her parents and sister. I have mourned my wife every day since her passing,” Klausutis wrote. “I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong him—the memory of my dead wife and perverted it for perceived political gain. … My wife deserves better.”

Before her death, Lori Klausutis spent two years working in Scarborough’s district office, serving as a constituent services coordinator. On July 20, 2001, Lori Klausutis fainted while at work and fell, hitting her head on a desk, according to the coroner’s report. There were no signs of foul play when constituents showed up for a meeting the next morning and found her dead. “I’m a research engineer and not a lawyer, but reviewed all of Twitter’s rules and terms of service,” Timothy Klausutis wrote in his letter to Dorsey. “The President’s tweet that suggests that Lori was murdered—without evidence (and contrary to the official autopsy)—is a violation of Twitter’s community rules and terms of service. An ordinary user like me would be banished from the platform for such a tweet but I am only asking that these tweets be removed.”