Democratic 2020 Contenders Condemn Trump for Spreading Epstein Conspiracy Theories

Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

Democratic presidential contenders Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker slammed U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday for promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the apparent suicide of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in his New York jail cell.

After the death on Saturday of Epstein, a millionaire charged with sex trafficking who once counted Trump and former President Bill Clinton as friends, Trump retweeted a baseless claim from a conservative comedian that Clinton was involved in the death.

“This is another example of our president using this position of public trust to attack his political enemies with unfounded conspiracy theories,” O’Rourke, a former congressman from Texas, said on CNN’s State of the Union.

O’Rourke said Trump was trying to shift the public’s focus away from last weekend’s two deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which have led to new calls for gun restrictions and criticism of Trump’s divisive anti-immigrant and racially charged rhetoric.

“He’s changing the conversation, and if we allow him to do that then we will never be able to focus on the true problems, of which he is a part,” O’Rourke said from his hometown of El Paso.

Booker, a U.S. senator from New Jersey, said Trump’s retweet was “just more recklessness.”

“He is giving life to not just conspiracy theories but really whipping people up into anger and worse against different people in this country,” he said on CNN.

The FBI and the Department of Justice’s Inspector General have opened investigations into the death of Epstein, who a source said had been taken off suicide watch. Last month, Epstein was found unconscious on the floor of his jail cell with marks on his neck, and officials were investigating that incident as a possible suicide or assault.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” to learn of the apparent suicide in federal custody. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said in a statement on Saturday.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congresswoman from New York City and a leading progressive voice, tweeted: “We need answers. Lots of them.”

White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said investigation of Epstein should continue despite his death.

“Jeffrey Epstein has done some very bad things over a number of years, so let’s continue to investigate that,” she said on Fox News Sunday. “I don’t think that somebody’s crimes and the accountability for that necessarily perish with them.”

More than a decade ago, Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to state charges of solicitation of prostitution from a minor in a deal with prosecutors that has been widely criticized as too lenient.

Then in July, Epstein was indicted, federal prosecutors in New York accusing him of knowingly recruiting underage women to engage in sex acts with him, sometimes over a period of years while paying the women for each encounter. He pleaded not guilty.

O’Rourke and Booker are among two dozen candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Trump for the White House in 2020. Nearly all of those Democrats have condemned Trump’s incendiary rhetoric for inflaming racial tensions and anger.

“We’ve seen people’s lives being threatened because this president whips up hatred. This is a very dangerous president that we have now,” Booker said.

Trump had retweeted on Saturday a message from conservative comedian and commentator Terrence K. Williams, who said in part that Epstein “had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead.”

Clinton spokesman Angel Urena blasted Trump for making the suggestion. “Ridiculous, and of course not true – and Donald Trump knows it. Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet?” he said, referring to the procedures for replacing the president in event of removal or incapacitation.

Trump has a history of promoting conspiracy theories about political rivals. Even before he was a presidential candidate, Trump repeatedly questioned whether former President Barack Obama was born in the United States, even after Obama produced a birth certificate proving that he was.

During the Republican presidential nomination race in 2016, Trump spread an unfounded conspiracy theory linking the father of rival U.S. Senator Ted Cruz to the assassination of former President John Kennedy, a claim Cruz denounced as a lie.

(Reporting by John Whitesides; Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mary Milliken and Grant McCool)

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Jess Sain
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Jess Sain

If you think Eppy killed himself then I’ve got some land I want to sell you in Mena Arkansas by a deserted runway and I’ll have Vince write up the contract. The guy had names, big names. Why was his suicide watch pulled? Why was he not under strict observation? Oh….the guards were tired, overtime, switched at the last moment……yeah….I don’t smell a rat…..I smell liberals.

Qaz Wiz
Member

it is my understanding that it is standard operating procedure to collect evidence as if a death were a homicide then wait the two weeks to see reports that say nope, not a homicide .

but here someone was on suicide watch is immediately ruled suicide when dead…. did someone watch him commit suicide?

this is Ruby all over again.

Qaz Wiz
Member

so lets all pretend Epstein wasn’t murdered. Let’s pretend he didn’t even die. Let’s talk about what was NEW that week… EPSTEIN SEX SLAVE NAMING PROMINENT DEMOCRATS !!!!! that’s what Epstein’s murder covered up by making a dozen stories about his murder i only saw one about names being unsealed. and saw another a couple days later…. the Democrats are correct saying Epstein murder is drawing away attention from news, but not the leftist in Dayton murder spree, which had already been reported days before. news hit just as sealed testimony naming prominent Democrats in a child sex ring was… Read more »

Jill
Member

Bugs Bunny used to have a line he always used but was not the object of being a racist or a horrible character. He always said, “What a maroon.” Fits these two. Maroon is not a typo, just Bugsism.

Lolo
Member

Do these failing candidates have any clue at all as to how hypocritical they are? They and their cronies have been “giving life to conspiracy theories” about Trump for 3 YEARS with their Russia this, Stormy that B.S. It is crushing them that they can’t tie Trump to Epstein any more than a long ago picture taken at a public function. Ya’ll need to just Shut Up.

Bonnie Keever
Member

No one cares what you think

WellHungChad
Member

The hilarious (saddest) part is the MSM’s persistence in their attempt to link Trump with Epstein. Trump had ONE encounter with him and ousted him from his club upon hearing about Epstein’s penchant for molesting young girls. Meanwhile, Clinton only admits to meeting with him four times, while pilot logs reveal that Slick was a frequent flier on the Lolita express with 27 flights. Half of them after DITCHING his security detail and WITH a plane full of under age girls. No mention of these details from the MSM. The pilot logs (multiple pilots) don’t lie, but the media does.

John
Guest
John

When will these pathetic candidates realize they are not contenders? So he is trying to shift the focus from the shootings……..hmm he didn’t use them as a fundraiser, did he?

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