GOP Hypocrisy

Matt Gaetz is Responsible for One of the WORST Conspiracy Theories Trump Loved to Spread

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) shared a nutball conspiracy theory with former President Donald Trump that claimed MSNBC host Joe Scarborough murdered a staffer during his time as a congressman, according to Alyssa Farah Griffin, in her testimony before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Mediaite reports.

Appearing before the committee on April 15, 2022, Griffin discussed her tenure as White House communications director during the Trump administration, describing it as a “wild eight months.” For her, it must have seemed like everything but the kitchen sink was packed in: the Covid-19 pandemic, the Trump White House’s epic lack of structure, and inept staffers in crucial positions. The committee released several transcripts Thursday, and Griffin’s testimony was among them.

“A lot of very good, more senior people decided not to go into this West Wing,” Griffin told the committee. Naturally this led to lots of people without “the relevant experience needed for the jobs they were doing.” This resulted in “near daily” problems with even “very senior staff” who didn’t understand “just basic levers of how government works.”

And of course, Trump at this time, relied pretty heavily on Twitter for announcing policy decisions and that contributed to the craycray. Griffin said there were days when her office worked out the “best-laid plans” but that would go awry by whatever he tweeted that morning. With her prior experience working for the Department of Defense along with other communications-related roles, she hoped to “professionalize” the White House press operations, but Trump proved to be “a complete wild card” making it impossible to predict what he might do or say that could “throw everything off course.”

Another problem that complicated the situation was that Trump was easily swayed by his advisers, Griffin told the committee. For an example, she told one anecdote about Gaetz to highlight the “kind of chaos” that went down in Trump’s White House. She said she’d seen the Florida congressman with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) in the West Wing. Gaetz was carrying a folder.

Griffin said she asked Gaetz what was in the folder, and this transpired:

“And he pulls it out. It’s conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough murdering his intern. And I said, ‘Please do not bring that into the West Wing — or to the Oval Office.’ We were literally outside of the Outer Oval. And just — as I’m saying that — I said, ‘You cannot put that in front of the President, he — he gets ushered in. And sure enough, within — by the next morning, the former President is tweeting wild conspiracy theories about a cable news host, you know, allegedly murdering his intern.”

This conspiracy theory is definitely bonkers. It surrounds the death of Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old aide to then-Rep. Scarborough (R-Fla.) when an undiagnosed heart condition caused her to pass out and bump her head on a desk. Scarborough wasn’t even in the state and was instead in Washington, D.C. at the time. The coroner reported there were no signs of foul play and ruled her death was due to natural causes.

Nevertheless, Trump ran with the rumors on Twitter.

Nonsense like this hurts a lot of innocent people, and Klausutis’s widower, Timothy Klausutis sent a letter to Jack Dorsey, who was CEO of Twitter at the time, pleading with him to delete the tweets.

“President Trump on Tuesday tweeted to his nearly 80 million followers alluding to the repeatedly debunked falsehood that my wife was murdered by her boss, former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough. The son of the president followed and more directly attacked my wife by tweeting to his followers as the means of spreading this vicious lie,” he wrote. “I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the president of the United States has taken something that does not belong to him — the memory of my dead wife — and perverted it for perceived political gain.”

Scarborough also responded at the time say Trump’s tweets were “unspeakably cruel” on the Morning Joe program that week.

“What the Klausutises, the entire family have had to endure for 19, it’s unspeakably cruel, whether it’s the president or the people following the president, it’s unspeakably cruel,” Scarborough said. “These are not public figures.”

Trump isn’t the kind of person to care about who he hurts. He obviously used this to attack Scarborough even if it is completely unfounded. He’s a cruel, selfish man who will retaliate if he feels he’s been slighted. The relationship between the two men has been a contentious one and Scarborough has been openly critical of Trump and his followers.

And if Matt Gaetz did indeed do this, what does it say about him? We know he’s a far-right extremist who trafficks in hate, who, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “invited Chuck Johnson, a white nationalist ‘Trump Troll’ to Trump’s State of The Union address in 2018.”

“Johnson is a Holocaust denier who developed WeSearchr, a payment platform for racist ‘alt-right’ crowdfunding,” the SPLC reported.

Fortunately, that platform was short-lived. But this tells you all you need to know about Gaetz. I’ll wager that if he talked to Trump about this easily debunked conspiracy theory he was just being an epic-brown-noser. He had to know that Trump would go off on this.

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity. She can be found on Twitter at and Facebook at


Comments are currently closed.