U.S. President Donald Trump is taking some heat after retweeting someone who made the claim that “Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself” in a message otherwise defending the president.
The tweet came amid a series of messages from the president on Sunday morning, including others that took aim at Democrats and defended his response to the coronavirus outbreak. As Law & Crime reported, Trump also retweeted a message from former Republican congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine, who made a series of digs against the left.
Lorraine’s tweet came on April 24 in response to a hashtag #TrumpIsNotADoctor, which criticized the president for stepping outside his expertise in the response to the coronavirus.
“For the #TrumpIsNotADoctor crowd…” Lorraine wrote. “Bill Nye is not a scientist. Greta Thunberg is not a climate expert. Hillary Clinton is not a president. AOC is not an economist. CNN is not a news network. Joe Biden is not winning in 2020….and Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.”
The retweet no longer shows up on Trump’s page, but Law & Crime and others captured a screenshot and offered criticism of Trump for making the claim about the disgraced financier and his former friend, who died last year in federal custody from suicide. Some conspiracy theorists at the time spread a theory that Epstein could have been murdered, a, idea that was even backed by some medical experts who noted that his injuries appeared more consistent with homicide.
Oh, the president of the United States tweeting about Jeffrey Epstein not committing suicide. pic.twitter.com/TI3fCxul9q— Molly Jong-Fast???? (@MollyJongFast) May 3, 2020
This is not the first time that Trump has elevated conspiracy theories regarding Epstein’s death. As USA Today reported last year, not long after Epstein’s death in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, Trump retweeted someone who appeared to link the death to former President Bill Clinton. Clinton once had a relationship with Epstein and flew on the disgraced financier’s private plane before allegations of child sexual assault surfaced against him.
Reporters pressed Trump about the retweet, which claimed that Epstein “had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead,” and they questioned how he could have died after reportedly being put on suicide watch.
“The retweet was from somebody that is a very respected conservative pundit so I think that was fine,” Trump said, adding that he wants a “full investigation” of Epstein’s death.
It did not appear that the message about Epstein was a focal point for Trump in his retweet on Sunday, as the president has regularly lifted up messages that defend his response to the coronavirus and take on his critics.