Kellyanne Conway has defended Donald Trump's retweet of a conspiracy theory linking Bill Clinton to millionaire financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who took his own life in his jail cell on Saturday.
Speaking to Fox News Sunday, the White House counsellor Conway said:
I think the president just wants everything to be investigated, as your reporter just revealed.
She then added:
Just the day before, there was some unsealed information implicating some people very high up, and I'm not going to repeat their names, you already did that, I'm not saying anything beyond that, and I won't.
But I will say, Bill, that there is this rush to... we need transparency, we need accountability, when it involves fictional accusations such as 'collusion' with Russia in order to swing an election.
This seems to be very concrete, in that Jeffrey Epstein has done some very bad things over a number of years, and so let's continue to investigate that.
Conway then suggested that questions surrounding Epstein and any co-conspirators in the alleged sex trafficking circuit involving minors was merely "speculative", but admitted that perhaps there is a "public interest in knowing more about that", reports the Week.
Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan prison cell on Saturday morning, after what was ruled as an apparent suicide, but it has already inspired a number of conspiracy theories, many of which have been directed at former president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton.
Trump retweeted a baseless conspiracy theory regards the apparent suicide to his 66 million followers, suggesting the Clintons were involved in Epstein's death.
In one retweet, Trump shared a post that contained the hashtags #TrumpBodyCount and #ClintonBodyCount:
Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen
#JefferyEpstein had information on Bill C… https://t.co/K6wYB1E2sv
— Terrence K. Williams (@Terrence K. Williams)
In another, he retweeted an unverified news account that reported Clinton had taken private trips to Epstein's 'paedophilia island'.
Democrats have blasted the president's retweet. Democratic presidential candidate and former Representative Beto O'Rourke said on CNN's State of the Union that the retweet was Trump "changing the conversation", he also added:
This is another example of our president using this position of public trust to attack his political enemies with unfounded conspiracy theories and also to try and force you and me and all of us to focus on his bizarre behaviour.
Also speaking on CNN's State of the Union, Senator Cory Booker said:
It's the same tactics and same language not just as white supremacists, but of the Russians, if you look at the intelligence reports of how they’re coming at our democracy.
He's been using the Clintons as a means for a lot of this false accusations this is a nation now where we’ve seen horrific acts … people's lives being threatened because this president whips up hatred this is a very dangerous president we have right now.