Chris Hayes on Thursday laid into the way various corners of conservative media and online communities have talked about Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire sex trafficker who died of apparent suicide while in federal custody in 2019.
Hayes’ primary beef is that these various figures consistently reference Epstein as a means of criticizing Democrats, generally as part of larger, baseless conspiracy theories. Hayes countered that in fact, Epstein had far more ties to American right wingers and specifically, “the guy in American politics most closely associated, with Epstein and particularly Epstein’s scandals is, I think, inarguably Donald Trump.”
And later, he noted that “there’s only one major candidate for president without any meaningful ties to Epstein. His name is Joe Biden.”
Watch the clips below:
First, Hayes detailed at length the various, well-documented ties between Trump and Epstein. First, by noting that when Epstein was arrested in 2008 on sex trafficking charges, he received an unprecedented deal for an extremely light sentence, a deal orchestrated by U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, a Republican who 9 years later was appointed Secretary of Labor by Trump.
Acosta held that cabinet position until 2019, when he was forced to resign after Epstein was arrested again and his crimes, as well as Acosta’s preferential treatment, were exposed. (Before he resigned, Acosta made things worse by defending the deal.)
Hayes then noted that in his first impeachment trial, Trump was represented by attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr — both of whom represented Epstein in 2008. Then he noted that Trump himself was friends with Epstein for more than 15 years, until they had some still-unknown falling out in the mid 2000s, and that Trump was on record during this time speaking highly of Epstein. And Trump also, Hayes reminded viewers, said “I wish her well” after Epstein’s accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested in 2020.
“I know full well the facts don’t matter to the conspiracy crowd, but these are the type of folks who engage in what has become, quite clearly, a kind of watered down Q anon talking point,” Hayes continued. “The kind of world and particularly the kind of voters in short, who seem most drawn to support conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for President.”
Hayes then pointed out that RFK Jr. was himself an occasional Epstein associate who flew on Epstein’s private jet, something he admitted during a Fox News interview — to be clear Hayes also reminded viewers that Kennedy hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing.
“He’s not been accused of any misconduct be clear… Lots of people flew on Epstein’s private jet, including former President Bill Clinton. That’s also established. But again, to the conspiracies crowd that traffics almost exclusively in loose connections, in innuendo, it should presumably be relevant that two of the three most prominent candidates for President of the United States of America have tangible connections to Jeffrey Epstein.
In fact, if you are at home watching this are something of a single issue anti Epstein voter, there’s only one major candidate for president without any meaningful ties to Epstein. His name’s Joe Biden. Keep that in mind the next time Fox News tries to use Epstein to smear the left.