Top Republicans publicly demand Trump end his “vile” attacks on Joe Scarborough

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Over 100,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19, over 1.7 million have contracted it and the president, rather than focusing every ounce of his attention on curbing the spread of the virus and leading us through this collective tragedy is wasting his time on petty feuds and conspiracy theories. In the case of Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough, Trump is doing both.

The president has been taking potshots at Scarborough ever since the television personality, a former friend and supporter, started openly criticizing him on his show but in recent week’s Trump’s attacks have taken on a downright disgusting tint as he has repeatedly falsely implied that Scarborough murdered Lori Klausutis, one of his staffers during his time in Congress.

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The vile smears have escalated so much that Timothy Klausutis, the widower of the woman in question, has beseeched Twitter to intervene to stop Trump from lying about and exploiting his wife’s tragic death, which was ruled an accident caused by an undiagnosed heart condition.

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“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. I would also ask that you consider Lori’s niece and two nephews who will eventually come across this filth in the future,”  ” said Klausutis in a letter Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey.

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Trump, a creature pathologically incapable of empathy, decided to ignore Klausustis’s moving entreaty and tweeted about Scarborough being a murderer again today. The fact that Trump thinks this ludicrous narrative will play well with his base tells you all you need to know about what he thinks of the intelligence of his supporters.

When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was asked about Trump’s harassment campaign against Scarborough he acted like so many other cowardly Republicans do when confronted with Trump’s egregious behavior: refused to condemn it and pivoted away.

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) at least had the decency to say that Trump should stop talking about the deceased woman because it’s inflicting “great pain” on the bereaved family.

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Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), a political foe of the president’s and the only Republican senator to vote in favor of his impeachment, took to Twitter to weigh in on the scandal. He defended Joe Scarborough as a friend and while he didn’t mention Trump by name, he denounced the “vile, baseless accusations” against Scarborough. Romney also had the decency to stand up for Timothy Klausutis saying “his heart is breaking.”

Whatever issues one might have with Romney and his less-than-ideal political views, his tweet should be commended. We cannot allow Donald Trump to suck all empathy and civility out of our discourse. We cannot become monsters like him. It’s unlikely he will cease his attacks even with this Republican backlash, so it falls to the rest of us to hold him accountable at the ballot box this November.

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