Trump: ‘No Idea’ If Clintons Involved In Jeffrey Epstein Death

Topline: President Trump said Tuesday he has “no idea” if Bill and Hillary Clinton are involved in Jeffrey Epstein’s death, after he retweeted a baseless conspiracy theory Saturday from a conservative comedian, who claimed the Clintons were responsible and requested a “full probe” into the matter. 

  • Trump said the Twitter user, comedian Terrence K. Williams, “has half a million followers” and is “somebody that’s a very respected, conservative pundit, so I think that was fine.” He added: “That wasn’t from me; that was from him.”
  • Trump’s latest controversial retweet (to his 63 million followers) occurred approximately ten hours after Epstein was reported to have died.
  • Both Clinton and Trump are former friends of Epstein. Both had interactions with Epstein alleged by the plaintiff in court documents unsealed on Friday. Neither has been accused of being involved in Epstein’s alleged sex ring of underage girls. 

Crucial quote: “The question you have to ask is, ‘Did Bill Clinton go to the island?’ If you find that out, you’re going to know a lot,” Trump said, referring to Epstein’s private island. Clinton has previously denied ever visiting the island in a statement to Forbes. The allegation is raised by the plaintiff in the unsealed court documents, but a Clinton spokesperson again denied to CNN that he had visited the island.

Key background: Epstein, who died by an apparent suicide Saturday, was held without bail in a Manhattan jail on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Trump distanced himself from Epstein following his July 6 arrest, although past interviews and video footage suggest the men were friends. Trump is also known for retweeting controversial information, leading Twitter to roll out—but so far, not deploy—a new feature that could restrict the reach of Trump’s tweets. 

Tangent: Trump was the most famous supporter of the “birtherism” conspiracy theory, which falsely claimed former president Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

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I'm a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: G