Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and convicted sex criminal recently re-arrested on charges of sex trafficking, was reportedly found dead in his cell on Saturday. Official claims that he had committed suicide were met with skepticism, considering Epstein’s connections to many powerful men and women who have been implicated in the sex crimes charges. Given Epstein’s connection to Bill Clinton, many suggested Clinton orchestrated his death. But at least one prominent Trump critic went for the Trump-Russia collusion angle.
“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,” Joe Scarborough, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, tweeted Saturday morning.
Scarborough added, “He reportedly tried to kill himself two weeks ago. And is allowed to finish the job now? Bulls**t.”
Democrats and the media have rushed to paint the Epstein sex trafficking charges as a Trump scandal, despite the president’s disavowal of Epstein. He banned the financier and sex criminal from Mar-a-Lago years ago.
Those consumed with Trump-Russia paranoia will interpret everything according to that lens, it seems. Even after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report effectively disproved the idea of collaboration between Trump’s campaign and Russia and after Mueller’s embarrassing flub last month suggested that he wasn’t leading the investigation that seemed calculated to undermined the president, Russia is the narrative that just won’t die.
Morning Joe did his part to keep that narrative alive, just as many conservatives — even a Trump administration staffer — grasped at the “Clinton body count” narrative. Both sides need to take a deep breath and see what an investigation reveals. The death is extremely fishy, and skepticism seems warranted, but that does not justify jumping to politically-motivated conclusions.
While the Hillary body count angle seems rather predicable, Joe Scarborough shows that Trump critics, too, can promote conspiracy theories about convenient suicides connected to powerful people.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.