Campaign aide: Trump asking questions shared by 'millions of Americans' with Epstein conspiracy theory

A Trump campaign aide on Monday defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says inviting Russia to G7 'a question of common sense' Pentagon chief does not support invoking Insurrection Act Dershowitz: Does President Trump have power to declare martial law? 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. 

Lotter went on to note that Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTrump shifting after threat to deploy troops: report The Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen GOP senators dodge on treatment of White House protesters MORE has cited "some serious irregularities with this case that need to be investigated."

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"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 ClintonTrump, Biden battle to shape opinion on scenes of unrest Sessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines The Memo: Trump lags in polls as crises press 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 BookerCalls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress Schumer calls on McConnell to schedule vote on law enforcement reform bill before July 4 This week: Senate reconvenes as protests roil nation amid pandemic 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 ConwayWhite House shifts focus from coronavirus Washington archbishop criticizes Trump visit to Catholic shrine George Conway group targets Trump over 'blatant racism' in new ad 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.