President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his decision to share a tweet suggesting Bill and Hillary Clinton were involved in financier Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide, and stoked speculation about the former president’s relationship with the deceased convicted sex offender.
“The retweet — which is what it was, just a retweet — was from somebody that’s a very respected conservative pundit, so I think that was fine,” Trump told reporters, referring to a conspiratorial message by comedian and commentator Terrence K. Williams, which he re-posted Saturday.
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Trump, who has been criticized for promulgating the unfounded theory that the Clintons had a hand in Epstein’s death, said on Tuesday that he had “no idea” whether they played a role in the high-profile prisoner’s demise, and accused former President Bill Clinton of lying about the extent of his air travel on Epstein’s planes.
“I know he was on his plane 27 times, and he said he was on the plane four times,” Trump said. “But when they checked the plane logs, Bill Clinton — who was a very good friend of Epstein — he was on the plane about 27 or 28 times. So why did he say four times?”
A federal appeals court late Friday night unsealed more than 2,000 pages of documents, including logs of Epstein’s pilots that revealed Clinton used Epstein’s planes for travel related to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton’s paid speeches. The documents also showed that Trump made at least one trip on Epstein’s plane in 1997.
Epstein was reported dead Saturday morning in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. FBI agents on Monday raided Epstein’s estate on a private Caribbean island where he allegedly abused underage girls.
“The question you have to ask is, did Bill Clinton go to the island? Because Epstein had an island. That was not a good place, as I understand it, and I was never there,” Trump said Tuesday. “So you have to ask, did Bill Clinton go to the island? That’s the question. If you find that out, you’re going to know a lot.”
“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York,” Clinton spokesman Angel Ureña said last month. “He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”
Ureña also hit back against Trump’s effort to link the Clintons to Epstein’s suicide, tweeting on Saturday: “Ridiculous, and of course not true — and Donald Trump knows it. Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet?”