Twitter said Tuesday it will not remove tweets from President Donald Trump that impugned MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, despite pleas from the family of a woman who died while working for Scarborough when he was a member of Congress.
The woman, Lori Klausutis, died in 2001 while working in Scarborough’s congressional office. Medical authorities said her death stemmed from a heart condition that caused her to collapse and hit her head on her desk, but Trump has repeatedly pushed a baseless conspiracy theory that Scarborough was somehow involved in foul play.
Lori’s husband, Timothy Klausutis, sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Thursday asking for the company to remove tweets from Trump that pushed the conspiracy theory.
“My request is simple: Please delete these tweets,” Klausutis wrote. “I’m a research engineer and not a lawyer, but reviewed all of Twitter’s rules and terms of service. The President’s tweet that suggests that Lori was murdered without evidence and contrary to the official autopsy is a violation of Twitter’s community rules and terms of service. An ordinary user like me would be banished from the platform for such a tweet but I am only asking that these tweets be removed.”
Klausutis declined to comment on Twitter’s decision.
A Twitter spokesperson said in an email Tuesday that the company was working on making changes, though it did not agree to remove the tweets.
“We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family,” the spokesperson said in an email. “We’ve been working to expand existing product features and policies so we can more effectively address things like this going forward, and we hope to have those changes in place shortly.”
The spokesperson declined to discuss particular policies but pointed to the company’s efforts to label misleading information.
Scarborough is a regular critic of Trump and his policies. MSNBC is part of NBC News.