If it wasn’t already clear that the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme has gone completely mainstream, it became painfully obvious Wednesday, when a United States congressman jumped on board.
Arizona’s Paul Gosar, a Republican, dropped the phrase, which suggests a conspiracy around the death of wealthy sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, in a series of 23 tweets. At first glance, they appeared to be standard GOP talking points against impeachment and Wednesday’s public hearings in the House. But upon closer inspection, some noticed that the first letter of each tweeted spelled “Epstein didn’t kill himself.”
Gosar sent the first tweet at 7:21 a.m. Wednesday. It started with an “F,” allowing the phrase to be read from the top down by the time he sent the final tweet at 3:09 p.m. Naturally, it started with an “E.”
A couple hours after people began noticing Gosar’s message, he used his personal Twitter account to tweet a Daily Caller article about it. “What? Epstein didn’t kill himself?” he wrote, playing coy.
And he wasn’t done. At just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Gosar tweeted that all of his tweets from earlier in the day “pertained to today’s hearing.” There was a not-so-hidden message in this tweet too.
Gosar is the first member of Congress to so publicly embrace the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme, which has flourished in recent weeks. After first cropping up online, it has now spilled into real life, at college sporting events, on bridge over passes, and on Fox News.
Gosar’s embrace of the Epstein conspiracy isn’t much of a surprise. This is a guy who once said the Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was a false-flag operation orchestrated by leftists; who embraced birtherism; and whose own siblings came together last year to make an ad begging voters not to reelect him. He blamed that on Barack Obama.