Trump retweets Jeffrey Epstein conspiracy theory implicating Clinton family

Not first time president has pushed unfounded notions

Andrew Buncombe
Saturday 10 August 2019 20:58
Trump comments on relationship with Jeffrey Epstein: 'I was not a fan of his'

Donald Trump has retweeted a conspiracy theory following the death of former associate Jeffrey Epstein, suggesting without evidence that ex-president Bill Clinton was connected to his death in a New York jail cell.

Approximately 12 hours after the disgraced financier was found dead in his cell, apparently having taken his own life, the president retweeted a post by conservative comedian and actor Terrence K Williams.

“Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen,” read Mr Williams’s post. “Jeffery Epstein had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead. I see #TrumpBodyCount trending but we know who did this! RT if you’re not surprised.”

The president, who was spending the day at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, also retweeted a post that claimed documents unsealed in court this week, revealed Mr Clinton took private trips to Epstein’s “paedophilia island”.

This was an apparent reference to old reports, denied by the former president, that he was a guest at Epstein’s Caribbean island, Little St James.

The comments by Mr Trump, who in 2002 told New York magazine that Epstein was a “terrific guy”, came amid an angry barrage of tweets, that included an attack on comedian Bill Maher, who he called a “wacko”.

He also accused him of lying in remarks he made about the president’s trip to visit mass shooting victims in El Paso, Texas, earlier in the week.

“Got to see, by accident, wacko comedian Bill Maher’s show – So many lies. He said patients in El Paso hospital didn’t want to meet with me. Wrong! Had really great meetings with numerous patients,” he wrote.

“Said I was on vacation. Wrong! Long planned fix up of WH, stay here rather than cause big disruption by going to Manhattan.”

This is not the first time Mr Trump has pedalled conspiracy theories. For many years he spearheaded a racist campaign that claimed Barack Obama was born in Kenya and could not legally be president, claims that continued even after Mr Obama released his birth certificate.

The US government on Saturday ordered investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of the disgraced financier. Amid questions about how suspect in a major sex trafficking investigation was not placed on suicide watch – and as the internet filled with conspiracy theories, such as those pushed by Mr Trump – attorney general William Barr, announced the FBI and the justice department’s prisons’ inspector would be probing how the 66-year-old was able to apparel take his own life while awaiting trial in New York.

Jeffrey Epstein found dead in prison ahead of sex trafficking trial

“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” said Mr Barr, the attorney general.

Officials in New York confirmed Epstein had been found dead, alone in his cell, at around 7.30am on Saturday morning, at the the Manhattan Correctional Centre in New York City.

Multiple media reports said sources at the facility said it appeared he had killed himself. Last month, Epstein was found unconscious on the floor of his jail cell with marks on his neck, according to media reports and officials were investigating that incident as either a possible suicide attempt or else assault.

There was no immediate explanation for why the ex-financier was placed not under special surveillance after that episode. The New York Times said Epstein had been placed under special surveillance after the July 23 incident, and received a daily psychiatric evaluation. He was then removed from suicide watch on July 29, it said.

Epstein was being held at the facility after being arrested and charged last month with sex trafficking charges that accused him of abusing dozens of underage girls as young as 14. Epstein had been charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking with underage females, and had pleaded not guilty.

His death came one day after new legal documents unsealed by a court, provided more details about the numerous young girls Epstein is said to have abused over several decades.

The documents, relating to a defamation lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, who said she was abused by Epstein and members of his circle over a number of years. Among those she claimed she was told to have sex with were former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, financier Glenn Dubin, former senator George Mitchell and modelling agent Jean-Luc Brunel. All have denied the claims.

Also contained in the documents were accusations by another alleged victim, Johanna Sjoberg, who said Britain’s Prince Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 2001. The British royal has denied the claims.

Additional reporting by agencies

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