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Foster the People defends sharing Jeffrey Epstein conspiracy theories: 'No question the government is behind' it

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They may be best known for the 2010 hit “Pumped Up Kicks,” but indie rock band Foster the People now appears to have a sideline in investigating the reported death by suicide of Jeffrey Epstein. The financier — who stood accused of sex trafficking amid widespread allegations of the sexual abuse of underage girls — was found dead in his cell at a New York City detention facility on Saturday.

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22:  Mark Foster of Foster The People performs on Downtown Stage during the 2018 Life Is Beautiful Festival on September 22, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for Life Is Beautiful)
Foster the People is digging into the death of Jeffrey Epstein. (Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for Life Is Beautiful)

Because of Epstein’s ties to a number of high-profile figures, his death has been shrouded in mystery, with questions being raised about why he, despite a recent attempt on his own life, was reportedly no longer on suicide watch. President Trump, who once socialized with Epstein, sparked outrage after retweeting a conspiracy theory implicating Bill and Hillary Clinton in the death.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: A protest group called "Hot Mess" hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the Federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
Epstein, who was targeted by protesters at a federal courthouse in July, was found dead on Saturday. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Foster the People, which is fronted by vocalist Mark Foster, is also convinced that there’s more to the story. On Saturday, the Grammy-nominated band started speculating about what happened to Epstein on Twitter, floating a theory that the accused sex trafficker is still alive and “somewhere in the Middle East getting prepped for plastic surgery right now.”

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While Twitter is rife with conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death, the band’s assertion that he remains alive was called “irresponsible” by some. Many commenters mocked the group’s attempt to play detective, riffing on their song lyrics and repeating the same “Vince Foster the People” joke, a reference to Bill Clinton’s deputy White House counsel, Vince Foster, whose 1993 death by suicide has spawned countless murder theories involving the Clintons.

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Foster defended himself against the backlash in a follow-up tweet, which included side-by-side images of Epstein before and (allegedly) after his death and the hashtag #EpsteinBodyDouble. He went on to slam the media and point a finger at Attorney General William Barr, who has announced an investigation into the death. Barr also heads the Department of Justice, which operates the federal facility where Epstein died.

“I find it strange that I’ve been chastised by reporters from NBC and other news outlets for my opinion,” the singer wrote. “Everything you guys have been reporting has been conjecture. If you want to be considered a respected authority of truth, do a better job.”

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Though some fans have piggy-backed off the speculation with their own theories, the band’s tweets continue to face criticism.

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