Donald Trump has said it was “fine” to share a baseless conspiracy theory about Jeffrey Epstein’s death because the tweet came from “a big Trump fan” with “half a million followers”.
What Trump didn’t say (or probably didn’t know) is that the last time said Trump fan went on Fox News, he was cut off for making offensive jokes about a South Korean-born journalist.
Terrence K Williams, who describes himself as a comedian and commentator, appeared on Fox News last year, where he called
New York Times
journalist Sarah Jeong “Ling Ling” and said “I don’t know if this lady is Chinese, Japanese or crazy-nese.”
At the time, Jeong was facing criticism after controversial old tweets about white people were unearthed.
This is what Williams said in August 2018:
Jeong was criticised for various tweets, including one with the hashtag “CancelWhitePeople” and another joking about "white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs p***ing on fire hydrants".
New York Times
journalist said she regretted the posts.
She added that as an Asian journalist, she had received frequent online harassment and had “engaged in what I thought of at the time as counter-trolling" by mimicking “the language of my harassers”.
However, Williams does not appear to have publicly apologised for his jokes.
In fact, he said his critics should “shut up” because he is a “comedian”.
This is how Trump defended Williams' Epstein tweet:
Despite his large Twitter followers, there is little evidence to suggest Williams is a “very highly respected conservative pundit” as Trump claimed.
Williams’ political commentary has included spreading conspiracy theories on his Twitter account and a couple of other appearances on Fox News, in which he complained about Hillary Clinton’s emails and Facebook being biased against conservatives.
As “respected” conservative commentators go, he’s not even on the level of
It looks like Trump has just based his idea of respectability on how many Twitter followers someone has.
In the post that Trump retweeted, Williams based his conspiracy theory around the false claim that Jeffrey Epstein had been released from suicide watch on the day of his death.
Epstein had actually been released from suicide watch 12 days earlier.