Media

Jake Tapper calls out Trump for sharing 'deranged' and 'insane' conspiracy theory about Epstein death

CNN host Jake Tapper opened his show Sunday by calling out President Trump for promoting a "deranged" and "insane" conspiracy theory about the death of disgraced financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who died from an apparent suicide over the weekend.

"The state of our union is appalled," Tapper said on CNN's "State of The Union." "We begin this morning with a retweet from the president of the United States. Not a message about healing or uniting the country one week after two horrifying massacres, not about the victims of those tragedies. Instead President Trump using his massive Twitter platform to spread a deranged conspiracy theory tying the death of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in prison to the president's former political rivals, the Clintons."

"I'm not going to show you the tweets," Tapper added, before later noting that Trump could "use his megaphone for anything. But the president often uses it to amplify that which is the worst of us: personal attacks, bigotry and insane conspiracy theories."

He went on to cite Trump's promotion of the conspiracy theory that former President Obama was born outside the U.S. as an example.

Trump on Saturday responded to the news of Epstein's death by retweeting a post that blamed it on former President Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The tweet provides zero evidence or basis for the claim.

It also included the hashtags #ClintonBodyCount and #ClintonCrimeFamily in addition to photos of Epstein and the Clintons. The tweet was shared as theories tying the Clintons to Epstein's death trended on Twitter.

"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, referring to an amendment that addresses a president's ability to carry out his duties.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Sunday downplayed Trump's promotion of the conspiracy theory, saying on "Fox News Sunday" that the president "just wants everything investigated."

Federal officials said Saturday that Epstein had died by an apparent suicide in his Manhattan jail cell. Epstein, who was arrested last month, had been in custody while awaiting a trial related to allegations that he trafficked dozens of minors for sex.

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