A Fox News host encouraged speculation and conspiracy theories about the death of Jeffrey Epstein this morning.
In a discussion about Epstein’s death, Fox & Friends’ Pete Hegseth started reeling off a list of allegedly shady circumstances around the convicted sex offender’s suspected suicide.
Epstein was found dead in his cell on 10 August, 12 days after he was taken off suicide watch due to an earlier apparent suicide attempt - sparking a rush of conspiracy theories on social media.
He was being held on federal charges for sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York.
Hegseth began by saying:
You’re right, you want to stick to facts but there’s so much money involved, so many politicians involved, maybe a lack of trust in the process…
His co-host, Ainsley Earhardt, appeared to support the speculation by adding more allegedly suspicious details about the death.
Conspiracy theories have been widespread ever since Epstein was reported dead on Saturday, with the hashtag “Epstein Suicide Cover Up” trending on Twitter with more than 100,000 tweets.
Unfounded claims accusing a wide range of suspects – from Trump and the Clintons to Russia – have circulated across the internet and have even been encouraged by mainstream politicians and journalists.
For example, NBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted unsupported speculation on Saturday.
As did Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
However, there is no evidence to support theories that someone murdered Epstein - despite the mysterious circumstances of his suspected suicide.
After an autopsy report, multiple sources briefed on the investigation told NBC News that suicide remains the presumed cause of death.
Nevertheless, it is unlikely online speculation will stop anytime soon.