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Right-Wing Paper Slams Trump For Pushing ‘Vile’ Conspiracy Theory

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump has never been shy about promoting absurd far-right conspiracy theories, including birtherism (the racist claim that President Barack Obama wasn't really born in the United States). And recently, Trump has been floating the conspiracy theory that Never Trump conservative Joe Scarborough — who hosts Morning Joe on MSNBC with liberal Mika Brzezinski, his wife — murdered a former employee. And the editorial board of the right-wing Washington Examiner slams Trump for it in a scathing editorial published on May 27.

The former employee that conspiracy theorists have accused of killing was Lori Klausutis, who suffered from a heart condition and was only 28 when, on July 19, 2001, she fell and fatally hit her head. At the time, Scarborough was a Florida Republican serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. Scarborough, who is now one of Trump's most vehement critics on the right, has since left the GOP because of his disdain for Trumpism.

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With Attack On Scarborough, Trump Sends A ‘Mob Boss’ Message

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

President Donald Trump has taken time out in recent days from hyping false allegations about vague crimes purportedly committed by his predecessor, Barack Obama, to hype false allegations about a very specific crime purportedly committed by one of his critics in the media, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.

In a series of vile, unhinged Twitter rants, Trump has repeatedly promoted the conspiracy theory that Scarborough murdered Lori Kaye Klausutis, his former staffer, calling for new investigations by law enforcement and by online "forensic geniuses."

"Psycho Joe Scarborough is rattled, not only by his bad ratings but all of the things and facts that are coming out on the internet about opening a Cold Case," the president wrote this morning. "He knows what is happening!"

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Video: McEnany Defends Trump's 'Morning Joe' Conspiracy Tweets

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was forced to defend President Donald Trump's recent attacks on MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Tuesday, an unenviable task she nevertheless intentionally signed up for. She desperately tried to divert the attention back to Scarborough — without engaging in the president's conspiracy theorizing — but offered no credible defense of the president's conduct.

Trump has been spreading the debunked theory that Scarborough killed a staffer in 2001 while he was in Congress, even though it was determined she died of natural causes. The staffer's widower wrote a released a letter on Tuesday pleading with Twitter to take down the president's offensive tweets promoting the thoery. He said he was "angry," "frustrated," and "grieved" by the president's promotion of the harmful allegations. Trump is perverting his late wife's memory, he said, and he fears her niece and nephews will encounter these attacks.When asked about the letter, McEnany said she wasn't sure if the president had seen it. But she said their "hearts" are with the woman's family "at this time." It was a deeply ironic comment because the only particularly traumatizing thing about "this time" for the family is the president's attacks, which come nearly two decades after the woman's death.

McEnany refused to offer any explanation of Trump's comments and instead redirected reporters to a clip of Scarborough on Don Imus's radio show in 2003. In that show, Imus made a tasteless joke obliquely referring to the death, and Scarborough laughed at it briefly.

"Why is the president making these unfounded allegations?" asked ABC News' Jonathan Karl. "I mean, this is pretty nuts, isn't it? The president is accusing someone of possible murder. The family is pleading with the president to please stop unfounded conspiracy theories. Why is he doing it?""The president said this morning, this is not an original Trump thought. And it is not," she said, bringing up the Imus clip. But she made no mention of why the president is bringing up the issue 17 years later and with a much larger platform.

When pressed further on the president's conduct, she again diverted blame to Scarborough, saying his morning show unfairly criticizes the president. But again, she offered no substantive defense of Trump.

After McEnany had moved on, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor brought it up again: "Why won't the president give this widower peace and stop tweeting about the conspiracy theory involving his wife?"

McEnany said she had already answered the question, which she hadn't, and said the onus is on Scarborough to explain the Imus clip."The widower is talking specifically about the president!" Alcindor shot back. But McEnany called on Chanel Rion, with the aggressively pro-Trump outlet OAN, who changed the subject to conspiracy theories about the origins of the Russia investigation.

"Are you not going to answer that?" Alcindor called out, still trying to get a substantive response to her question, but Rion spoke over her.

At the end of the briefing, another reporter asked whether Trump was looking for any actual law enforcement steps be taken in response to his conspiracy theory. But McEnany had nothing to add, and simply told people to listen to the Imus clip again. As she hurried out of the briefing room, a reporter asked if Trump would stop promoting the theory — but she left without answering.

Watch the exchange about Klausutis, which begins at 48:45.

Never-Trump Conservatives Mock GOP’s ‘Historic’ Wisconsin Defeat

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, isn't the only Never Trump conservative who has been pouring salt on the GOP's wounds over Wisconsin's April 7 election: Charlie Sykes, co-founder of The Bulwark, is doing so as well this week — and, like Scarborough, is arguing that Republicans subjected themselves to a public relations fiasco over a right-wing candidate who didn't even win: incumbent Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers and other Democrats — fearing for the safety of voters during the coronavirus pandemic — called for postponing the election and encouraged mail-in ballots as an alternative to in-person voting. But Republicans in the state legislature resisted that idea, and on Tuesday, April 7, the election went ahead. Those who hadn't already mailed in absentee ballots had to vote in person — and Wisconsin voters, thanks to Republicans, stood in long lines on Election Day. Scarborough has been slamming the Wisconsin GOP for putting voters at a greater risk of being infected with coronavirus.

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