In the aftermath of the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein in a Manhattan jail, President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter that the Clintons were behind his death.
The president retweeted a post that accused the Clinton’s of murdering Epstein because he had dirt on Bill Clinton.
Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen#JefferyEpstein had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead
I see #TrumpBodyCount trending but we know who did this!
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) August 10, 2019
In response, CNN host Jake Tapper issued a stinging rebuke of the president.
“Hello. I’m Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is appalled,” he said. “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, 63 million followers, 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 tweet, but the spokesperson for former president Bill Clinton responded to the president retweeting it, saying — quote — ‘Ridiculous and, of course, not true, and Donald Trump knows it. Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet?’ . . .”
The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a president who is unfit for office.
Writing in the Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin praised Tapper, noting that aggressive rebuttal is the only way to deal with the president’s insults and lies.
She praised him, in particular, for not inadvertently amplifying the president’s lies.
“Credit Tapper with not allowing Trump to use his show as a megaphone for Trump’s insane conspiracy-mongering and reminding viewers that the president feeds conspiracy theories all the time, some of which are the source of inspiration or reaffirmation for violent extremists,” Rubin wrote.
She notes that news outlets have to be better about rebuking, rather than pushing, Trump’s lies.
“They also need to consider whether it is responsible to, in essence, republish Trump’s lies and his excuses for lies by giving a platform to his apologists,” she writes. “It is irresponsible to turn over a readership or viewership to apologists who make blatantly false analogies (e.g., claiming Dayton’s shooting was motivated by left-wing conspiracy theories).”