DONALD TRUMP has retweeted a claim that former US president Bill Clinton was responsible for the death of paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
Mr Trump led the charge as social media exploded with conspiracy theories that Epstein’s network of powerful associates may have ensured the convicted sex offender was silenced.
Epstein’s body was found at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, New York, on Saturday. He had apparently taken his own life.
Both Mr Trump and Mr Clinton were friends with the 66-year-old New York billionaire but each of them turned against him as sex trafficking allegations mounted. Epstein was also a friend of Prince Andrew.
‘Died of suicide on 24/7 suicide watch? Yeah right! How does that happen?’ US actor Terrence K Williams said in a post retweeted by Mr Trump.
‘Jeffrey Epstein had information on Bill Clinton and now he’s dead. I see #TrumpBodyCount trending but we know who did this!’
Mr Clinton’s spokesman Angel Urena admitted the ex-president had taken four trips on Epstein’s private jet in 2002 and 2003. ‘He 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,’ he added.
Mr Trump has admitted knowing Epstein but claimed he ‘had a falling out with him long ago’.
Epstein was arrested on July 6, facing allegations of creating a ‘vast network’ of underage girls, whom he abused between 2002 and 2005. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor aged under 18 for prostitution.
He served 13 months of an 18-month prison sentence — although the deal he struck with prosecutors was criticised for allowing him to avoid further federal charges. Police had filed an affidavit two years earlier recommending he face four counts of unlawful sex with minors and one of molestation.
Days after his latest arrest in July, he was found unconscious in his cell with bruises on his neck. A lawyer for three alleged victims said at the time: ‘No jail will protect you when there are powerful people who want to reach you.’
NBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted: ‘A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men’s lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably… Russian.’
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani demanded the release of video footage from Epstein’s cell. ‘It is inconceivable Epstein could have hung himself if there was a suicide watch. Follow the motives,’ he tweeted.
Hours before Epstein’s death, court documents were released involving masseuse Virginia Roberts. They were gathered as part of a defamation case brought against former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who has repeatedly denied any involvement in his crimes. The suit was settled in 2017.