Senator Mitt Romney tweeted Wednesday morning:
I know Joe Scarborough. Joe is a friend of mine. I don’t know T.J. Klausutis. Joe can weather vile, baseless accusations but T.J.? His heart is breaking. Enough already.
I know Joe Scarborough. Joe is a friend of mine. I don't know T.J. Klausutis. Joe can weather vile, baseless accusations but T.J.? His heart is breaking. Enough already.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 27, 2020
Politico reports Sen. Mitt Romney on Wednesday condemned President Donald Trump’s tweets about the 2001 death of Joe Scarborough’s staffer as “vile, baseless accusations.”
The social media post from the Utah senator, perhaps the president’s most outspoken Republican critic, came one day after a letter to the head of Twitter from the widower of the Scarborough staffer drew widespread attention.
“I know Joe Scarborough. Joe is a friend of mine,” Romney posted on Twitter. “I don’t know T.J. Klausutis. Joe can weather vile, baseless accusations but T.J.? His heart is breaking. Enough already.”
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming — the No. 3 House Republican — also weighed in with criticism on Wednesday, telling reporters on the Hill that Trump “should stop tweeting” about Scarborough.
“We’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Cheney said. “He’s the commander in chief of this nation, and it’s causing great pain to the family of the young woman who died. So I would urge him to stop it.”
Timothy J. Klausutis’ wife, Lori, died at age 28 from a fall precipitated by an undiagnosed heart condition, as confirmed by the medical examiner and police. Her death has been the subject of baseless conspiracy theories and has continued to make headlines because of her employer at the time: then-GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough, in whose Florida office Lori Klausutis was working when she died. Scarborough, now the co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” was in Washington when she passed.
The 19-year-old death has been dragged back into the spotlight in recent weeks by the president, who has floated conspiracy theories that Scaroborugh, a one-time Trump friend who has joined the ranks of his most vocal critics, might have been involved in Klausutis’s death. The president’s family, too, has been quick to jump on board with the baseless conspiracy theories, tweeting about Klausutis’ death multiple times this month.
Klausutis’ letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey drew widespread attention after being published in a New York Times op-ed by Kara Swisher. The widower called on the social media giant to take down the tweets, writing that the president had taken “something that does not belong to him — the memory of my dead wife — and perverted it for perceived political gain.”