President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to fuel conspiracy theories about sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s death, further implicating former President Bill Clinton in the process.
Speaking to reporters before heading to Pennsylvania for a speech, Trump said he has “no idea” if Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were involved in Epstein’s death. Two days ago, however, following news of Epstein’s apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail, the president retweeted a baseless conspiracy theory connecting the Clintons to the accused sex trafficker’s death.
“BREAKING: Documents were unsealed yesterday revealing that top Democrats, including Bill Clinton, took private trips to Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘pedophilia island’,” read the tweet from right-wing pundit Terrence K. Williams—a post that also included the hashtags #ClintonBodyCount and #ClintonCrimeFamily.
On Tuesday, however, Trump defended promoting the conspiracy theory. “The retweet—which is what it was, it was a retweet—was somebody that is a very respected conservative pundit,” the president said of Williams, who is most famous for making racist jokes on Fox News. “So I think it was fine,” the president said.
Asked whether he actually believes the conspiracy theories, Trump told reporters, “I have no idea. I know [Clinton] was on his plane 27 times,” referring to trips the former president took on the convicted pedophile’s private jet.
“That was not a good place, as I understand it, and I was never there,” Trump further said, alluding to Epstein’s home in the U.S. Virgin Islands where he allegedly trafficked underage girls for powerful men.
“You have to ask, did Bill Clinton go to the island?” the president continued during the gaggle, adding that the former president was “a very good friend” of Epstein’s. “That’s the question. If you find that out, you’re going to know a lot,” he said, once again fueling conspiracy theories.
Both Trump and Clinton have been named as former friends of Epstein. While Trump only reportedly flew on Epstein’s private plane at least once in the '90s, Clinton is known to have used the plane multiple times. Trump seemed to be aware of Epstein’s sexual proclivities, at one time praising Epstein to New York magazine: “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
Epstein, 66, was reportedly found Saturday morning in his jail cell at Manhattan Correctional Center in cardiac arrest before being transferred to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The disgraced financier was being held in MCC on several sex-trafficking charges for allegedly abusing dozens of underage girls over two decades.
On Monday, FBI agents raided Epstein’s island compound as part of their investigation into his alleged sex-trafficking ring. Agents reportedly seized several computers from Epstein’s home, which has been dubbed as “Pedophile Island.”
Last month, Epstein was reportedly discovered lying semi-conscious in the fetal position in his cell with marks on his neck but was taken off suicide watch just six days later. As previously reported by The Daily Beast, Epstein was alone in his cell at the time of his death.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced that he had asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate Epstein’s death and the “serious irregularities” at MCC. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also launched a probe into his apparent suicide.
Trump agreed with the multi-department investigation, telling reporters on Tuesday, “I want a full investigation and that's what I absolutely am demanding.”