A resurfaced photo shows former president Bill Clinton together with financier and convicted child sex predator Jeffrey Epstein, an image that has gained some viral interest after conspiracy theories spread that Google was suppressing pictures of the pair together.
The relationship between Clinton and Epstein has come under scrutiny since the billionaire was arrested on a new series of charges of child sex trafficking. Epstein had stirred controversy for receiving what many saw as an unusually light sentence for his first conviction — a deal that was engineered by then-prosecutor Alex Acosta, who was picked by Donald Trump to serve as labor secretary before he resigned amid the controversy.
Clinton has his own deep connections to Epstein, who was a key figure in the founding of the Clinton Foundation and maintained a close relationship with the former president. Flight logs from Epstein’s private plane showed that Clinton was a frequent guest, though the president released a statement saying he knew nothing about Epstein’s “terrible crimes.”
As the rumor-busting site Snopes noted, the far-right corners of the internet began to spread theories that Google was actively trying to suppress evidence of the relationship between Epstein and Clinton, including “scrubbing” photos of the pair together. But as the report found, there simply appeared to be little in the way of photographs with the two together — until this week.
Josh Rosner, who serves as director of independent research consultancy Graham Fisher & Co, posted a picture on Twitter of Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein together that had been published in a Vanity Fair profile of Epstein from 2003. The photo, which quickly gained viral interest on Twitter and across social media, showed the two together in Brunei in 2002, part of a photo montage that also include a shot of Epstein’s private island, a site where Vanity Fair noted he was accused of transporting and molesting underage girls.
Disturbing! The #press wiped all pictures of @BillClinton & #JeffreyEpstein from the #internet. Even @VanityFair who published this image in ‘03 from their #sex(?) trip to Brunei scrubbed it. #sycophant #power @CJR @theintercept @propublica pic.twitter.com/MmCZZraHai— joshua rosner (@JoshRosner) July 22, 2019
As the Snopes report noted, the reason the image of Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein together did not show up in Google search results is that it was part of an entire page that had been uploaded rather than a standalone image that could be searched. There did not appear to be any evidence to the theory that Google was suppressing the images, and in fact, the picture of Clinton and Epstein together in Brunei has now begun to show up in Google image search results.