Trevor Noah: Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal ‘was the conspiracy’ | Culture

Trevor Noah

News broke on Saturday morning that Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy and well-connected financier accused of sex trafficking underage girls, was found dead by apparent suicide in his New York jail cell, “which, if you ask me, is some bullshit”, said Trevor Noah on the Daily Show. “I wanted Jeffrey Epstein to stay alive, for two reasons,” Noah said. “One, so that his victims could get their day in court. And two, I want him to snitch on all his high-profile pedophile friends.”

The Daily Show

Unpacking the real conspiracy in the Jeffrey Epstein story:

August 13, 2019

Even before Epstein’s death, Noah said, there were several outstanding questions on what, exactly, was going on at Epstein’s several properties. His death in prison has only added to those questions, and poured fuel on rampant conspiracy theories involving his social connections. The president has not stepped up to restore sanity; over the weekend, Trump retweeted a baseless claim accusing the Clintons of involvement in Epstein’s death.

“The president did this,” Noah emphasized, “which is pretty wild, because this is the type of moment where you’d think that the president would be the voice of reason.”

The insanity of a president endorsing a conspiracy theory on social media suggests one thing, according to Noah: “Trump needs a finsta,” a secret Instagram account reserved for only close friends. “Then he can use that to just go crazy with this racist stuff, conspiracy theories, butt pics – he can just get it all out … and America doesn’t have to stress.”

Kidding aside, Noah admitted that he gets why people are suspicious: “You would think a high-profile person like Jeffrey Epstein would have eyes on him all the time.”

“But to be honest, I’m also not sure that there’s a conspiracy here,” he continued. “If anything, for me, the conspiracy has been taking place over the last 10 years.” Over a decade ago, Epstein avoided serious punishment for several sexual misconduct charges with an unusually generous plea deal for soliciting prostitution; he only served 13 months, during which time he got to leave jail for work six days a week. The prosecutor who brokered his deal sealed the case, robbing Epstein’s victims of due process.

“That, for me, was the conspiracy,” Noah concluded. “And maybe, just maybe, what happened here is the result of there not being a conspiracy any more, and Epstein being treated, for the first time, just like everyone else.”

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert also looked into the fallout of Epstein’s death, a twist in the high-profile case that has “set off a wild wave of conspiracy theories online – the sort of stuff that only unstable tin foil hat loons could possibly believe”.

“So, Donald Trump,” he pivoted, bringing up the president’s retweet of a video baselessly linking the Clintons to Epstein’s death, which Colbert found laughable. “Really? 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.”

“But masterminding a scheme to assassinate a high-profile prisoner in maximum security federal custody? They couldn’t even ‘mastermind’ a visit to Wisconsin,” he joked, in reference to Hillary’s absence in the state during the 2016 presidential campaign.

To recap, “the president of the United States is pushing a dangerous and completely unfounded murder conspiracy theory about his predecessor” after receiving decidedly mixed reviews of visits last week to Dayton and El Paso, the sites of deadly mass shootings this month. According to reports in the New York Times and CNN, Trump was disappointed in the lack of enthusiasm in his visit, as several recovering victims did not want to meet him. “Look, I just survived a national tragedy,” Colbert said, considering their logic. “Don’t make me meet one.”

Members of the press were not allowed to follow him in the El Paso hospital, but cellphone video shows Trump consoling a shooting survivor by bragging about his crowds at his rally in the city in February.

“A beautiful sentiment,” Colbert deadpanned, “which is why every time I head to a funeral, I console the families with my straight-A’s report card from 8th grade”.

Seth Meyers

“Well, it was another super chill weekend with the president of the United States retweeting a deranged conspiracy accusing a previous president of murder,” Seth Meyers said to open Late Night.

“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,” Meyers explained, with “paranoid fantasies” on everything from government surveillance to poisoned food to his unfounded birtherism conspiracy theory against Barack Obama.

Which led Meyers to the president’s conspiracy-related retweets this weekend – a tweet CNN host Jake Tapper refused to show on the air.

“Think about that – the president’s tweets are so insane the news can’t even show them now,” Meyers said. “It’s getting to when he talks to reporters, they’re going to have to blur out his entire face. They’re going to have to treat him like accidental nudity – we elected President Nip Slip.”

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