Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Right-wing media and some conservative lawmakers have taken the rare step of criticizing President Trump over his tweeting of conspiracy theories that accuse MSNBC host Joe Scarborough of murdering a congressional aide, Lori Klausutis, in 2001.

The state of play: Trump has received widespread backlash over his tweets spreading the baseless accusations, including from Klausutis' widower. Authorities at the time suspected no foul play in Klausutis' death and ruled that it was a result of an irregular heartbeat that caused her to collapse and strike her head.

What they're saying: A number of conservative news outlets that often back the president — and that generally wouldn't be supportive of Scarborough, a frequent critic of Trump — have written editorials condemning the remarks.

  • New York Post editorial board: "The president of the United States decided to suggest that a TV morning-show host committed murder. That is a depressing sentence to type."
  • Washington Examiner editorial board: "Whatever his issues with Scarborough, President Trump's crazed Twitter rant on this subject was vile and unworthy of his office ... one could hardly be blamed for reading it and doubting his fitness to lead."
  • Wall Street Journal editorial board: "Perhaps he even thinks this helps him politically, though we can’t imagine how. But Mr. Trump is debasing his office, and he’s hurting the country in doing so."
  • National Review's editorial board: "Trump is clearly driven by his desire to say the most malicious and painful things he can about Scarborough, to take revenge for the former congressman’s now obsessively anti-Trump morning program. The president maintains he doesn’t watch, although this is plainly untrue."

Some Republican lawmakers have also chimed in. House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (Wyo.) said the president should stop tweeting the conspiracies, telling reporters: "It's causing great pain to the family of the young woman."

  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a frequent Trump foe, tweeted on Wednesday: "I know Joe Scarborough. Joe is a friend of mine. I don't know T.J. Klausutis. Joe can weather vile, baseless accusations but T.J.? His heart is breaking. Enough already."
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) also tweeted that the accusations against Scarborough are "completely unfounded conspiracy," and that Trump should "just stop."

Go deeper: Kayleigh McEnany defends Trump's conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,772,755 — Total deaths: 566,036 — Total recoveries — 7,030,749Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,269,531 — Total deaths: 134,898 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000.
  5. Public health: Trump's coronavirus testing czar says lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table" — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  6. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases

Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

Florida reported 15,299 confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday — a new single-day record for any state, according to its health department.

The big picture: The figure shatters both Florida's previous record of 11,458 new cases and the single-state record of 11,694 set by California last week, according to AP. It also surpasses New York's daily peak of 11,571 new cases in April, and comes just a day after Disney World reopened in Orlando.

Pelosi: Trump is "messing with the health of our children" with push to open schools

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' aggressive push to fully reopen schools this fall is "malfeasance and dereliction of duty," accusing the Trump administration of "messing with the health of our children."

Why it matters: Trump has demanded that schools reopen as part of his efforts to juice the economy by allowing parents to return to work, despite caution from health officials that little is known about how the virus impacts children.