Aug 11, 2019

Trump retweets baseless conspiracy theory tying Epstein death to Clintons

President Trump on Saturday evening retweeted an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory by conservative actor and comedian Terrence K. Williams suggesting that the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein was somehow tied to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Why it matters: This is not the first time the president has amplified baseless conspiracy theories, having risen to political prominence in part thanks to the "birther" campaign that claimed President Obama was not born in the United States. Trump also suggested during the 2016 presidential campaign that Sen. Ted Cruz's father was somehow involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Reality check: In addition to the unsubstantiated claims of ties between Epstein's death and the Clintons, Williams' tweet also falsely claimed that Epstein was on suicide watch.

  • Officials said that Epstein was under extra security in a special unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center after being found with injuries on his neck last month, but was no longer under suicide watch at the time of his death.

Clinton press secretary Angel Ureña responded to Trump on Twitter: "Ridiculous, and of course not true — and Donald Trump knows it. Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet?"

  • The White House did not respond to requests for comment, and the Justice Department declined to comment, per the Washington Post.

Go deeper: What we know about the life and death of Jeffrey Epstein

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