Does Donald Trump think Jeffrey Epstein was murdered?
Within hours of Jeffrey Epstein’s death by apparent suicide, current U.S. President Donald Trump retweeted a conspiracy linking Epstein’s death to Bill Clinton. The question arose about whether Donald Trump was endorsing the conspiracy that the Clintons, his former political opponents, were behind Epstein’s death.
After deboarding Air Force One, Donald Trump was asked by reporters whether or not he really believed Jeffrey Epstein was murdered. He said he didn’t know but took the opportunity to explain Bill Clinton’s record of lying about his association with Epstein.
“I don’t know, but he (Bill Clinton) flew on his (Jeffrey Epstein’s) plane twenty-seven times, and he said he was on the plane four times. But when they checked the plane logs, Bill Clinton, who was a very good friend of Epstein’s, he was on the plane about twenty-seven or twenty-eight times.”
At the time of Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide, the hashtag #TrumpBodyCount was trending on Twitter. News sources linked Donald Trump to Jeffrey Epstein and speculated whether or not Trump was the one to kill Epstein.
Donald Trump even mentioned the trending hashtag in his response to Jeffrey Epstein’s death. The tweet and Trump’s apparent belief that Clinton killed Epstein could be a distraction away from his previous friendship with Epstein.
The history between Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein
Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein met in the 1980s and formed a close friendship. They were often seen together through the 90s. One mutual friend described them as each other’s “wingman.” The friendship fell apart in 2004 after a bidding war over a house and after Trump banned Epstein from Mar-a-Lago for harassing an underage guest.
Donald Trump currently denies ever being that close with Jeffrey Epstein. In an interview in the Oval Office, Trump said he only met Jeffrey Epstein a few times and was never really close to him.
Donald Trump also made cabinet picks that were mutual ties between him and Jeffrey Epstein. Trump selected Alex Acosta to be Secretary of Labor in 2017. Acosta was the U.S. attorney in charge of Epstein’s lenient plea deal in 2007. Likewise, current U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s father hired Epstein to teach in the 1970s.
The connection between Trump, Epstein, and the Clintons
However, Donald Trump’s connection to Jeffrey Epstein doesn’t mean that Bill Clinton has no ties to him. Clinton was very friendly with Epstein when doing philanthropy work after his tenure as U.S. president. Clinton sought out wealthy donors like Epstein to contribute to his humanitarian work through The Clinton Foundation.
When Virginia Roberts-Guiffre was on Little St. James with Jeffrey Epstein, she saw Clinton there and expressed her shock. Epstein replied that Clinton “owed him a favor.” Like Donald Trump, Bill Clinton denies knowing about Epstein’s illegal activity and downplayed his association with Epstein.
Not the first conspiracy theory Donald Trump latched on
Donald Trump launched his political career by restating the “birther” conspiracy on Twitter. That conspiracy claimed that then U.S. President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, so was ineligible to be the president.
Donald Trump also propagated the belief that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy Assassination. Cruz was Trump’s opponent in the 2016 primaries.
Donald Trump’s tweeting strategy
Cognitive science & linguistics professor George Lakoff analyzed Donald Trump’s numerous tweets and compiled them in the four strategies: pre-emptive framing, distraction, trial balloons, and deflection. Trump’s tweets about Jeffrey Epstein’s death fit into deflection, putting the attention on Clinton and away from his friendship with Epstein.
At this point, we have to wonder why mainstream media keeps falling for it. Of course, Donald Trump doesn’t really believe the Clintons killed Jeffrey Epstein. However, by retweeting it, the media has to pay attention to Trump’s apparent belief rather than explore his connections to Epstein as current Commander-in-Chief.