One America News reporter Chanel Rion on Thursday continued her habit of promoting President Donald Trump’s favorite conspiracies via loaded questions. This time, she asked White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany whether the president could ultimately depose MSNBC host Joe Scarborough to see if he murdered a former staffer.
In recent weeks, the president has repeatedly and falsely accused Scarborough of killing his congressional aide Lori Klausutis in 2001, even going so far as to suggest they were having an affair. Authorities at the time found Klausutis died accidentally in Scarborough’s Florida office due to a previously undiagnosed abnormal heart rhythm. Furthermore, Scarborough was in D.C. at the time of her death.
Towards the end of Thursday’s White House press briefing, Rion—who is no longer part of the White House briefing rotation but is personally invited to attend by the press secretary—boosted the debunked conspiracy theory by concocting an outlandish scenario in which Trump could potentially prove Scarborough’s connection to Klausutis’ death.
“If Joe Scarborough were innocent couldn’t he sue the president for defamation?” the OANN reporter asked McEnany. “And then, in turn, couldn’t President Trump's attorneys immediately depose Joe Scarborough and allow him to go under oath to explain how this 28-year-old woman was found dead by his desk with multiple skull fractures?”
“Would the president welcome a defamation suit by Joe Scarborough?” Rion concluded.
McEnany, for her part, told Rion that she would just refer her back to the press secretary’s previous remarks about Scarborough supposedly joking about the aide’s death with Don Imus in 2003, which McEnany added was “very disturbing.” (The audio in question—which was recently unearthed by pro-Trump media outlets—appears to show Scarborough merely brushing off Imus’ crude joke and moving on.)
“Do you think Scarborough has grounds to do so?” Rion reacted, prompting McEnany to say she had no comment and would “just point back to the Don Imus audio.”
Amid the president’s recent obsession with labeling a Trump-critical cable-news host a murderer, Klausutis’ widower has begged the president to stop dragging his wife’s name through the mud while unsuccessfully calling for Twitter to delete Trump’s tweets. Trump and the White House, meanwhile, have repeatedly pointed to the Imus video in an effort to justify the president’s actions, and Trump himself has even suggested the family wants him to get to the bottom of Klausutis’ death despite their pleas.
As for Rion’s theory about Scarborough suing the president for defamation: As national-security attorney Bradley Moss recently wrote, Scarborough is pretty much unable to take any legal action against the president as Trump is currently immune due to federal regulations.
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