Late Night Hosts Call Out Trump for Promoting "Deranged" Epstein Conspiracy Theory
"This has set off a wild wave of conspiracy theories online. The sort of stuff that only unstable tinfoil-hat loons could possibly believe — so, Donald Trump," Stephen Colbert said of the online speculating after Epstein's death.
Late night hosts on Monday poked fun at the conspiracy theories surrounding Jeffrey Epstein's death.
The 66-year-old accused sex trafficker died by suspected suicide in his New York federal jail cell Saturday. He was reportedly taken off suicide watch at the Metropolitan Correctional Center a week after he tried to kill himself late last month.
Over on The Late Show, Stephen Colbert noted that while the prison announced that Epstein's death was caused by suicide, his link to many powerful people including Donald Trump and Bill Clinton had some people thinking that he … didn't commit suicide. "This has set off a wild wave of conspiracy theories online. The sort of stuff that only unstable tinfoil-hat loons could possibly believe — so, Donald Trump," said Colbert.
Colbert explained that Trump shared a tweet and video that said Bill and Hillary Clinton were responsible for Epstein's death, despite the fact that the allegation had no evidence to support it.
"That's your theory? I'm not saying the Clintons don't have any power. They could definitely get a reservation at any restaurant in New York City," said Colbert. "But masterminding a scheme to assassinate a high-profile prisoner in maximum security federal custody? They couldn't even mastermind a visit to Wisconsin."
"Trump clearly thinks this is the only logical answer. 'Follow me down the rabbit hole here,'" Colbert said, doing an impression of Trump. '"Who had the most to gain from Epstein's death besides me, who is on videotape partying with him and young women? And who controls all federal prisons? The president, Bill Clinton.'"
Daily Show host Trevor Noah, meanwhile, said that Epstein's death was "bullshit."
"I wanted Jeffrey Epstein to stay alive for two reasons. One, so that his victims could get their day in court and, two, I wanted him to snitch on all of his high-profile pedophile friends," he said.
Noah added that Epstein's death left people with more questions than answers. He then spoke about Trump's retweet of the conspiracy theory linking the Clintons to Epstein's death. "The president did this, which is pretty wild. I mean, cause this is the type of moment where you would think that the president would be the voice of reason. Instead, Trump is jumping into the fray," he said.
The host suggested that Trump make a Finsta account, which is a secret Instagram account that only his friends would be able to see. "Then he can use that to just go crazy with his racist stuff, conspiracy theories, butt pics. He can just let it all out," Noah said. "And America doesn't have to stress."
Noah added that Trump is not the only person who thinks Epstein's death was "shady." While some Republicans think the Clintons are responsible for his death, some Democrats think Trump is to blame, Noah explained. He then joked, "Jussie Smollett said it was two white Nigerian guys."
"I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but something weird happened here. I was thinking, maybe it wasn't Trump or the Clintons. Maybe it was — America," said Noah before he shared news coverage that explained that many prisons are underfunded with overworked staffers.
The host said that he understood why people were suspicious of Epstein's death, though he did not think that there was a conspiracy. "For me, the conspiracy has been taking place over the last 10 years. First of all, Epstein only magically served 13 months for his crimes and in that 13 months he got to leave prison and go to the office six days a week," said Noah. He added that the prosecutor sealed the case, which protected Epstein and his co-conspirators. "That's the conspiracy."
"Maybe what happened here is the result of there not being a conspiracy theory anymore and Epstein being treated for the first time just like everyone else," he concluded.
Over on Late Night, Seth Meyers spoke about the "deranged" conspiracy theory Trump shared in the latest installment of his "Closer Look" segment.
"Donald Trump has changed many things in his life, but there are a few constants. He's always been a racist, he's always been a con artist and he's always been a conspiracy theorist," he said. "Trump has paranoid fantasies about everything from climate change to government surveillance to the food he eats."
Meyers shared that Trump began his political career by promoting the conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in America. "It wasn't just that Trump accused Obama of being born in Kenya, he also invented an insane fantasy where Obama had faked documents," said Meyers. "At one point he even claimed his own investigators were discovering evidence that proved Obama was hiding the truth."
The host later discussed Trump's Clinton conspiracy retweet, airing footage of CNN refusing to show the tweet Trump shared.
"The president's tweets are so insane, the news can't even show them now," Meyers said. "It's getting to the point where when he talks to reporters, they're gonna have to blur out his entire face."
"Trump's penchant for peddling insane conspiracy theories isn't just a weird personality quirk. It has real consequences for real people," continued Meyers before he touched on other "unhinged" conspiracy theories shared by Trump in the past.
Meyers wrapped up the segment by sharing that Trump spent the weekend he retweeted the Epstein conspiracy theory in the Hamptons for a series of fundraisers where tickets cost up to $250,000. "Which sums up so much of our politics right now," he said. "A paranoid president spreading unhinged racist conspiracy theories while raking in millions from a crowd of megarich supporters who don't care as long as they can line their own pockets."