Democrats blast Trump's Epstein conspiracy theory retweet as Conway defends the president

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayKellyanne Conway: Martin Luther King would oppose impeaching Trump George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' White House pushes back on Parnas allegations MORE on Sunday defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE’s retweet of a conspiracy theory about the death of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, while Trump’s critics and rivals blasted the retweets as irresponsible conspiracy-mongering.

The Saturday night retweet implied former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump on Clinton's Sanders comments: 'She's the one that people don't like' Hillary Clinton tears open wound with her attack on Sanders MORE and former President Clinton, who appears several times in flight logs for Epstein’s private jet, were responsible for Epstein's death in federal custody, and uses the hashtag #ClintonBodyCount, referencing a conspiracy theory about the Clintons having political opponents murdered that dates back to the early 1990s.

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The tweet offered no evidence for its assertions. Clinton’s spokesman Angel Ureña responded to Trump's retweet by writing "Ridiculous, and of course not true — and Donald Trump knows it. Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet?"

Conway minimized the retweet in an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” saying “I think the president just wants everything to be investigated” and noted Epstein’s ties to figures like the former president and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D).

She downplayed Trump’s own ties to Epstein, who was part of the same social circles in New York and Florida and was a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club before they reportedly fell out while competing for Florida real estate. Since Epstein’s arrest in New Jersey, Trump has claimed he was “never a fan.”

Presidential candidate and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the retweet was simply Trump “changing the conversation.”

"This is another example of our president using this position of public trust to attack his political enemies with unfounded conspiracy theories and also to try and force you and me and all of us to focus on his bizarre behavior," O'Rourke told CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperSteyer says 'grassroots organizing' in Nevada, South Carolina got him on debate stage Pentagon chief says he 'didn't see' intelligence suggesting Iran planned to attack four US embassies Ex-White House press, military officials call on Grisham to restart regular briefings MORE.

The former congressman added that “if we allow him to do that then we will never be able to focus on the true problem, of which he is a part."

Tapper himself blasted Trump for spreading the conspiracy theory, particularly in the wake of two mass shootings last weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Trump, Tapper said, 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.”

Tapper went on to call out Trump’s previous promotion of similar theories, such as the “birther” conspiracy theory that former President Obama was not born in the United States.

O’Rourke’s fellow presidential candidate, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerPatrick backs reparations in unveiling 'Equity Agenda for Black Americans' Booker ahead of Trump impeachment trial: 'History has its eyes on us' Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial MORE (D-N.J.), blasted the “recklessness” of Trump’s retweet on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

"It's the same tactics and same language not just as white supremacists, but of the Russians, if you look at the intelligence reports of how they’re coming at our democracy," Booker said.

"He's been using the Clintons as a means for a lot of this false accusations this is a nation now where we’ve seen horrific acts … people's lives being threatened because this president whips up hatred this is a very dangerous president we have right now,” he added.