Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah Republican, called Wednesday for President Trump to stop pushing a conspiracy theory accusing MSNBC host and former Rep. Joe Scarborough of murder.
Mr. Romney took to Twitter to defend Mr. Scarborough in light of Mr. Trump continuing to baselessly claim the “Morning Joe” host may have killed one of his congressional aides in 2001.
The late staffer, Lori Klausutis, was working at Mr. Scarborough’s office in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, when she fainted, hit her head and died, according to her autopsy results, which declared her death to be an accident.
Mr. Trump has tweeted several times recently that investigators should open a “cold case” to determine whether Mr. Scarborough was involved in the incident, however, including as recently as Wednesday morning.
Responding on Twitter shortly afterward, Mr. Romney urged the president to stop spreading the conspiracy theory to spare the aide’s widower Timothy J. Klausutis the anguish it brings.
“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,” Mr. Romney tweeted.
Mr. Trump had not responded to the senator’s tweet as of early Wednesday afternoon.
Mr. Klausutis asked Twitter last week to remove the president’s older tweets about his wife’s death, citing violations of the company’s community rules and terms of service.
“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,” he asked Twitter. “My wife deserves better.”
Twitter said Monday that tweets would remain, adding it was “deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family.”