President Donald Trump recently tweeted a post that defended his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this also included the line “Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.” It popped up on his account during a tweetstorm Sunday morning:
“…and Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself,” wrote former GOP congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine, in what was otherwise a defense of Trump’s COVID-19 response. Obviously, the pandemic has been on the president’s mind a lot. His freewheeling approach to the disease has caught a lot of flak. Through Twitter, he tries to micromanage public perception of his administration, so it’s no surprise he’d boost defenses of his presidency, but it’s striking that’d retweet a popular conspiracy theory about one of his late former friends.
Oh, the president of the United States tweeting about Jeffrey Epstein not committing suicide. pic.twitter.com/TI3fCxul9q
— Molly Jong-Fast? (@MollyJongFast) May 3, 2020
Convicted sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein, an ultrawealthy financier, collected a lot of powerful friends and acquaintances, including, politicians, legal experts, and scientists. Some, like Prince Andrew and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, have been accused of abuse. They’ve both denied claims. This proximity to power–and the allegations that other powerful people joined in the abuse–fueled conspiracy theories after Epstein died in a federal jail while facing new sex trafficking charges in 2019. Some people didn’t buy the official story that he ended his own life.
The White House didn’t respond to a Law&Crime request for comment. Trump and Epstein had a falling out after trying to outbid each other for the same Palm Beach mansion in 2004, according to The Washington Post. Epstein later faced allegations that he abused teenage girls, but his 2008 guilty plea in a Florida state court barely reflected the scope of the claims against him. He dodged possible federal charges at the time after reaching a cozy agreement in 2007 with then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who would go onto work for the Trump administration as Secretary of Labor.
Anyway, Sunday’s retweet isn’t the first time a curious claim popped up on Trump’s account this way. It’s not even the first time this happened with Lorraine! Last month, she tweeted a post that critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It included “#FireFauci.” The White House later poopooed the idea Trump would fire the doctor.
[Image via Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images]