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

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters and police clash nationwide over George Floyd

A firework explodes behind a line of police officers next to the Colorado State Capitol during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Denver on May 30. Photo : Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd continued nationwide into early Sunday.

The big picture: Police responded over the weekend with force, in cities ranging from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Denver and Louisville. Large crowds gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday for the fifth day in a row.

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Massive demonstrations put police response to unrest in the spotlight

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The response of some officers during demonstrations against police brutality in the U.S. has been criticized for being excessive by some officials and Black Lives Matter leaders.

Why it matters: The situation is tense across the U.S., with reports of protesters looting and burning buildings. While some police have responded with restraint and by monitoring the protests, others have used batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and other devices to disperse protesters and, in some cases, journalists.