Trump Retweets Conspiracy Theory That Implicates Clintons in Jeffrey Epstein’s Death

The post falsely claimed Epstein had died while on suicide watch.

Chen Mengtong/China News Service

Hours after Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent death by suicide, President Donald Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory alleging the Clinton family’s involvement in killing the accused sex trafficker.

“Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right!” read the post from comedian Terrence K. Williams. “#JefferyEpstein had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead.” 

There is no evidence whatsoever that anything alleged in the tweet or in the video accompanying it is true, obviously. Indeed, several news outlets, including the New York Times and Associated Press, reported that Epstein was actually not on suicide watch at the time of his death, contrary to Williams’ tweet. It is far more difficult for prisoners on suicide watch to hurt themselves, as Mother Jones reported earlier today.

That didn’t stop far-right commentators and trolls from quickly latching on to the theory that the Clintons were involved. The hashtag “ClintonBodyCount,” which Williams used in his post, became one of the highest-trending topics on Twitter shortly after Epstein’s death. 

Epstein visited the Clinton White House several times in the 1990s and President Bill Clinton has acknowledged taking four trips on the multimillionaire’s private plane, in addition to visiting him twice separately in New York. Clinton’s spokesperson said the president knew nothing of Epstein’s “terrible crimes” and has not spoken to him in “well over a decade.”

Trump, meanwhile, partied with Epstein several times in Palm Beach and called him a “terrific guy” in an interview with New York magazine in 2002. Trump dialed back his enthusiasm last month when asked about Epstein and said the two barely spoke after a falling out years ago. “I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years,” Trump told reporters. “I wasn’t a fan.”

Trump wasn’t the only government official to fan the flames of online conspiracy theorists. Lynne Patton, regional administrator at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, posted a screenshot on Instagram of a Daily Mail article detailing Epstein’s death with the caption, “Hillary’d!!” Patton’s post included a reference to Vince Foster, the ex-Clinton aide who died by suicide and has remained central to conspiracy theorists about the Clintons for decades. 


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.