Arizona Representative Paul Gosar would like you to know that Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself.
The Republican Congressman is also a fan of hidden messages, it turns out.
We're not kidding. This isn't a conspiracy theory about a conspiracy theory. The first letter in each of Gosar's most recent 23 tweets — a rant against Wednesday’s impeachment hearings earlier this afternoon — spell out: "Epstein Didn't Kill Himself."
At first, it wasn't clear if Gosar intended the hidden tweet message as a joke, or if he actually bought into the fervent conspiracy theory. What was obvious was that he was counting on the public to catch on.
But then ...
"This was intentionally done," the congressman said in a direct message on Twitter to Phoenix New Times. "People take themselves way too seriously in DC. The actual tweets are serious commentary. The Epstein reference is for the connoisseurs of subtlety and an homage to the lost but sublime art of humor bonding and group dynamics."
Conspiracy theories about the death of Jeffrey Epstein erupted shortly after the convicted sex abuser allegedly hung himself in a Manhattan jail in August.
Nearly three months later, a viral meme has resurrected the theory — albeit with a greater sense of irony and irreverence. "Epstein didn't kill himself" has become a popular bait-and-switch headline in a series of memes, particularly in right-wing circles of the internet, gaining enough momentum to eventually be used on a Fox News segment about military dogs earlier this month.
"If you see the coverage and you decide, 'I want one of these dogs,' either buy a fully trained and finished dog from a professional or just don't get one at all … and Epstein didn't kill himself," Mike Ritland, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, unexpectedly said during the show.
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He later told GQ that he was "trying to keep [the Epstein story] in the news so it doesn’t get forgotten about." The website Know Your Meme credits the meme's origin to iFunny user MrFate77, who first posted a version of it on October 2.
In Gosar's tweets, the message begins with the following:
Evidence of a link between foreign aid and political investigations simply does not exist. The longer this circus continues the clearer it becomes that @realDonaldTrump has done absolutely nothing wrong.— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) November 13, 2019
Gosar said all his tweets are "are by me or me with my team."