The husband of a woman who died in Joe Scarborough’s office two decades ago has demanded Twitter remove Donald Trump’s tweets suggesting the former Republican congressman murdered her.
Timothy Klausutis wrote to the social media firm’s chief executive Jack Dorsey, saying: “My request is simple: Please delete these tweets.”
The body of Lori Kaye Klausutis, 28, was found in Mr Scarborough’s congressional office in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, on July 20 2001.
Mr Klausutis said in the letter, sent last week, that his wife had an undiagnosed heart condition, fell and hit her head on her desk at work.
He called her death “the single most painful thing that I have ever had to deal with” and said he feels a marital obligation to protect her memory amid “a constant barrage of falsehoods, half-truths, innuendo and conspiracy theories since the day she died.”
Mr Klausutis said Trump is among the conspiracy theorists spreading “bile and misinformation” on Twitter “disparaging the memory” of his wife and their marriage.
The US president’s tweets violate Twitter’s community rules and terms of service, he said.
“An ordinary user like me would be banished,” Mr Klausutis wrote.
In a statement, Twitter said it is “deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family.”
But the company did not say it would do anything about Mr Trump’s tweets or mention them directly.
“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,” Twitter said.
In general, Twitter has taken a hands-off approach to political leaders, contending that publishing controversial tweets from politicians helps hold them accountable and encourages discussion.
It modified those rules last year to say world leaders “aren’t entirely” above the rules and some tweets violating its policy could be slapped with warning labels.
Mr Trump has long feuded with Mr Scarborough, now a host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.
He has repeatedly tried to implicate him in the death even though Mr Scarborough was in Washington, not Florida, at the time.
Mr Trump tweeted this month: “When will they open a Cold Case on the Psycho Joe Scarborough matter in Florida.
“Did he get away with murder? Some people think so. Why did he leave Congress so quietly and quickly? Isn’t it obvious? What’s happening now? A total nut job!”
He echoed that “cold case” allegation in a new tweet on Tuesday,
Medical officials ruled Mrs Klausutis, who had a heart condition and told friends hours earlier that she was not feeling well, had fainted and hit her head.
Foul play was not suspected.
Mr Scarborough has urged the president to stop his baseless attacks.