A Trump campaign aide on Monday defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris campaigns off of NRA attack Help wanted: American ambassador in Moscow Goldman Sachs CEO dismisses ‘impending economic crisis’ amid rising recession fears MORE’s promotion of a conspiracy theory about the death of disgraced financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, saying that “millions of Americans” are likely asking the same questions.
“I think the president was basically asking some of the questions that we saw millions of Americans probably asking themselves, whether it be on social media or just even in their own private conversations, about the very strange circumstances around this person’s death,” Marc Lotter, director of strategic communications for the 2020 Trump campaign, said on Fox News.
Marc Lotter claims Trump’s just askin’ the tough questions by retweeting Epstein death conspiracy pic.twitter.com/fyBDRSfWT0
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 12, 2019
Lotter went on to note that Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrBarr promises thorough investigation of Epstein death, warns coconspirators ‘should not rest easy’ De Blasio calls for ‘full investigation’ into Epstein death Chief medical examiner confident Epstein’s death was suicide: report MORE has cited “some serious irregularities with this case that need to be investigated.”
“The president and his entire administration are very firm in the fact, we need to investigate, not only the circumstances around his death, but continue the investigation into the horrible actions he was accused of and those who may have helped him,” Lotter said.
Epstein, who was arrested last month, died by apparent suicide in his Manhattan jail cell over the weekend, officials said. He had been in custody awaiting a trial on allegations that he trafficked dozens of minors for sex.
Hours after news of his death broke, Trump retweeted a post that blamed it on former President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJuan Williams: We need a backlash against Big Tech Why Democrats demonizing Trump supporters destroys accurate polls Democrats blast Trump’s Epstein conspiracy theory retweet as Conway defends the president MORE. The tweet provided no evidence or basis for the claim.
The tweet also included the hashtags #ClintonBodyCount and #ClintonCrimeFamily, as well as photos of Epstein and the Clintons.
“Ridiculous and not true and Donald Trump knows it. Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet?” a spokesman for former President Clinton said in a statement Saturday.
Several Democratic lawmakers have condemned Trump for helping to promote a conspiracy theory. 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker5 years later, media and politicians should retire the false Ferguson narrative The Hill’s Morning Report – More talk on guns; many questions on Epstein’s death Scenes from Iowa State Fair: Surging Warren, Harris draw big crowds MORE (D-N.J.) said Sunday that Trump was employing the “same tactics” as the Russians when it comes to spreading misinformation.
“What he’s doing is dangerous, he’s giving life not to just to conspiracy theories but really whipping people up into anger,” Booker said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayFormer acting solicitor general: ‘Literally unfathomable’ that Trump would retweet conspiracy theory about Epstein death Democrats blast Trump’s Epstein conspiracy theory retweet as Conway defends the president Sunday shows – Trump’s Epstein conspiracy theory retweet grabs spotlight MORE downplayed Trump’s retweet of the conspiracy while appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” saying that the president “just wants everything investigated.”
Trump has amplified multiple other conspiracy theories in the past, particularly the so-called birther movement, which falsely held that former President Obama wasn’t actually born in the United States.