It’s always a tragedy when anyone unexpectedly dies, but it’s an especially poignant kind of tragedy when death comes to someone who’s never been given a chance to live a full life. When I was in my twenties a young woman friend of mine, age 23, died suddenly of a brain embolism. My best friend from high school and college died at age 30 from complications due to a rare genetic disorder called Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome. When such things happen they always leave us stunned and wondering why. The answer never comes, perhaps because there isn’t one.
In July of 2001 Lori Klausutis was a 28-year-old woman with an undiagnosed heart condition called mitral valve prolapse. The day before she died as an indirect consequence of her condition, she complained to friends she had been feeling unwell. She didn’t know it but her unwell feeling was a warning of a time bomb ticking inside of her. While working alone at her office, her weakened heart caused her to faint. In falling she struck her head and eventually died where she lay.
Ms. Klausutis’ accident occurred in the Florida offices of Congressman Joe Scarborough where she worked as a constituent services coordinator. The Congressman was in Washington, D.C., at the time and was not involved in her death in any way. Keep this last point clearly in mind for later reference.
Medical examiners ruled Lori’s death an accident. There was then and there is now nothing more to say about it except that, like all unexpected deaths of young people, it was a senseless tragedy.
The last thing Lori’s husband Timothy needed was to have his understandable grief heartlessly resurrected nearly 20 years later and viciously and cynically manipulated for the political advantage of Donald Trump. I don’t want to give undue credence nor attention to Trump’s evil conspiracy theory except to say that, without evidence, he blames Joe Scarborough for Lori’s death. His tweets about “psycho Joe” and “cold case” are made without any foundation, but deliberately hint that Scarborough murdered her. This is ridiculous on its face and there isn’t a single shred of evidence to suggest it, but that never stopped an evil, pitiful, little man like our child raping and murdering president.
Trump knows it’s enough for him to hint about it without permitting the press to ask questions that are too penetrating. Trump knows that the fawning idiots in his low-information base don’t need the details to take his point and run with it. The child rapist and murderer Donald Trump is using this poor young woman’s tragic death in order to take vengeance on Joe Scarborough and his anti-Trump MSNBC talk show “Morning Joe.” That’s the only reason he keeps mentioning it in tweets and in press conferences. Meanwhile, 102,107 Americans have died from coronavirus.
In a letter to Twitter, Timothy Klausutis asked them to remove Trump’s tweets connecting Scarborough to his wife’s death. So far they have refused. A reporter mentioning it to Trump, said, “Mr. President have you seen the letter that was written by her husband begging Twitter to delete your tweets, talking about how hard it’s been for his family and for him to deal with that?” To which Trump replied, “Yeah I have but I’m sure ultimately they [Mr. Klausutis, et al?] want to get to the bottom of it and it’s a very serious situation. And as you know there’s no statute of limitations [on murder] so it would be a very good thing to do.”
Actually no. Mr. Klausutis doesn’t want anyone to “get to the bottom of it.” He already knows what and where the bottom is. His wife died nineteen years ago in a tragic accident that was no one’s fault. He doesn’t want her name cynically used by insensitive conspiracy theory-believing morons like Trump in order to assassinate the character of Joe Scarborough. Trump doesn’t care because Trump is evil, and he will step on anyone to get what he wants.
It’s important to note that Trump never mentions that Scarborough was (provably) 961 miles away from Lori Klausutis when she died. This is a common feature of conspiracy theorists. They hope that their true believers never wonder about such things and they’re in luck. Proponents of conspiracy theories consistently demonstrate a staggering lack of curiosity about common and easy to google refutations of each and every one of their little pet theories. They want to preserve the “wow factor” of their cockamamie pipe dreams without inconvenient stuff like facts. Trump is counting on this lack of curiosity in advancing his hateful and destructive theory.
It grieves me to report that conspiracy theories are not the sole property of the right-wing. Michael Moore is also a proponent of this wacky theory, having gone so far as to register the domain name “JoeScarboroughKilledHisIntern.com.” But then, Moore has already demonstrated over the years that he will stoop to any depth for a headline, and that he is, in the final analysis, nothing less than a fraud.
When Anderson Cooper reviewed the tape of Trump explaining to the reporter why the letter from Timothy Klausutis to Twitter had absolutely no impact on him, all Cooper could do was say, in an understandably broken voice, “What a little man. He’s just a little man. He’s the leader of the free world and he’s a little, little man.” I can add nothing to that except to say, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.