On Wednesday, President Donald Trump appeared to call for an investigation into the death of an intern who worked for MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. The reference was to the 2001 death of Lori Klausutis, who was a 28-year-old office worker in Scarborough’s office, who was a U.S. Representative from Florida at the time. In a tweet that was a reaction to the news that veteran NBC News “Today” show host Matt Lauer had been fired because of alleged sexual misdeeds, the president wrote: 

"So now tha[t] Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the ‘unsolved mystery’ that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!" 

Trump called in another tweet for an investigation of Andy Lack: NBC's news chairman.

Klausutis was found dead in Scarborough’s congressional district office in July 2001. According to media reports of the time, preliminary reports from the local medical examiner’s office showed that there was no foul play or suicide involved. The young staffer had worked for the congressman since May 1999.

Scarborough is the host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," joined by his wife and co-host Mika Brzezinski. Both are frequent critics of the president. 

"Today" show co-host Hoda Kotb said this is a "tough morning," adding that she has known Lauer for 15 years. "It's hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know who walks in this building every single day," she said. Lauer's co-anchor Savannah Guthrie announced Lauer’s departure at the top of Wednesday's "Today" show. Reading a statement from NBC News chairman Andy Lack, she said that NBC had received a detailed complaint from a colleague "about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace" by Lauer. After the company found that the complaint represented "a clear violation" of the company's standards, the company terminated  Lauer as a result.

Lauer, 59, was earning $28 million per year and was the highest paid anchor in broadcasting. His firing came just a week after CBS fired news host Charlie Rose on sexual misconduct charges.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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