Trump has repeatedly tweeted that MSNBC talk show host Joe Scarborough murdered a young woman in his Florida office when he was a member of Congress. Scarborough used to be a Republican, but has become an outspoken critic of Trump.

Amber Phillips wrote in the Washington Post:

This is a conspiracy theory that normally would not make it into this newsletter, were it not for President Trump alleging over and over again in recent days that there’s an affair-and-murder mystery behind the decades-old death of a former staffer of then-Republican congressman Joe Scarborough.

There is no affair-and-murder mystery. Scarborough is now a well-known MSNBC host who prominently criticizes Trump. And coronavirus deaths in America are about to hit 100,000. Those are the factors to keep in mind as I explain to you what Trump is talking about.

Lori Klausutis was a 28-year-old staffer for Scarborough in his Florida office when she was found dead in the office in 2001. The medical examiner said she fainted from a heart condition and hit her head. Scarborough was not in Florida at the time, had already announced his retirement months earlier, and retired later that year. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker called this claim “vicious” and said they wish they had a bigger Pinocchio scale on which to grade it.

At first, some people on the left, such as Michael Moore, actually used this to attack Scarborough, writes Florida journalist Craig Pittman. But in recent years, the allegation has found renewed life on the right. Most prominently through Trump.

Seemingly unprompted — there have been no developments in this case — Trump has been pushing this conspiracy theory over the past couple of days, including over the Memorial Day weekend and again Tuesday.

Klausutis’s widower never remarried and rarely speaks about his wife’s death. But he recently wrote a letter to Twitter’s chief executive asking him to take down Trump’s tweets. “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,” Timothy J. Klausutis wrote. “My wife deserves better.”

The president’s tweets haven’t been taken down, and Trump continues the attacks.

“Trump’s tweets offer a reminder of the remarkable nature of the Trump era,” Pittman writes, “that a sitting president can traffic in incendiary and false allegations while the political world around him remains largely silent, accustomed to Trump’s modern-day definition of presidential behavior.”

On Tuesday, reporters asked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany why the president keeps bringing this up. She deflected, choosing instead to list Scarborough’s many critiques of the president’s coronavirus response. “It’s Joe Scarborough that has to answer these questions,” she said.