President Donald Trump was busy tweeting up a storm of controversies Wednesday morning, with one of his tweets insinuating that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was responsible for the death of his intern while he served in Congress in 2001.
Trump was discussing the news that broke earlier Wednesday morning that "Today" show host Matt Lauer had been fired from NBC for sexual misconduct. Trump suggested that NBC ought to take action against Scarborough as well, making reference to the death of his former intern.
So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the “unsolved mystery” that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
The death of Scarborough’s intern was ruled by an autopsy report to have been the result of natural causes.
Lori Klausutis, 28 years old at the time, was found dead behind Scarborough’s district office desk in Florida back in 2001. Klausutis had been complaining about feeling ill earlier, and it was determined that she had fainted while at work, bumping her head on the desk and dying as a result.
Following Trump’s tweets on Wednesday, Scarborough tweeted a response of his own, suggesting the president’s mental well-being was souring.
Looks like I picked a good day to stop responding to Trump's bizarre tweets. He is not well. https://t.co/XJhW5ZHNfs— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) November 29, 2017
Scarborough, who used to identify as a Republican, switched his party status to “independent” this past summer. Speaking to "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert, Scarborough rhetorically asked, “... what exactly is the Republican Party willing to do [regarding Trump’s antics]? How far are they willing to go? How much of this country and our values are they willing to sell out?”
It is absolutely detestable that Trump throw out unfounded rumors like these against someone who has been critical of him in the past. For Trump, it seems that politics is war, and he must win by any means necessary.
But that line of thinking has generally been rejected in America, and it must be rejected now. Vicious attacks such as these provide nothing positive for our democracy — if anything, they hamper it, making others less likely to speak out against a president who is willing to disparage their reputations in such a public way.
This is not the demeanor that we typically want from our presidents. His behavior here, and in the past, is more akin to how autocratic leaders act out against their political opponents. We cannot afford much more of this style of leadership in the White House.