CNN anchor Jake Tapper blasted President Trump for amplifying conspiracy theories following accused serial sex-abuser Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide, noting that the president repeatedly uses his outsized voice to elevate the worst aspects of public discourse.
After Epstein was found dead in his New York cell on Saturday, conspiracies quickly began to spread on social media about how the disgraced financier had supposedly been murdered in jail by the Clintons, with the hashtag #ClintonBodyCount trending on Twitter. It didn’t take long for Trump to jump on the conspiracy train, retweeting a post that directly blamed Epstein’s death on the Clinton family.
Tapper led off his Sunday broadcast of CNN’s State of the Union by noting that instead of delivering a message of healing to a country still reeling from two mass shootings, Trump had helped spread a “deranged conspiracy theory” to his 63 million Twitter followers.
“I’m not going to show you the tweets,” Tapper explained.
“President Trump could use his megaphone for anything,” the CNN anchor added. “But the president often uses it to amplify that which is the worst of us: personal attacks, bigotry, and insane conspiracy theories.”
Tapper went on to point out that this is far from the first time that the president has spread baseless conspiracy theories, bringing up Trump’s embrace of birtherism and his accusation that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The CNN host then noted that Trump’s conspiracy-mongering has also lined up with deadly racist violence.
“President Trump has also given voice to the lie that the migrant and refugee crisis at the southern border is a plot by Jewish billionaire George Soros to fund a quote, invasion,” he said. “That’s a conspiracy theory that was the motive for the mass slaughter in Pittsburgh and El Paso.”
“This is no longer irresponsible and indecent,” Tapper concluded. “It is dangerous.”