The “Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme appears to have now gone international.
Syrian President Bashar Assad, in an interview with Russian state TV Thursday, waded into the bizarre viral craze by offering his own take on what happened to the convicted pedophile inside his Manhattan federal prison cell in August.
"American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was killed several weeks ago, they said he had committed suicide in jail,” Newsweek quoted Assad as telling the TASS Russian News Agency. “However, he was killed because he knew a lot of vital secrets connected with very important people in the British and American regimes, and possibly in other countries as well."
Assad’s unsolicited take on Epstein came when he was asked for his reaction to the death of James Le Mesurier, the founder of the White Helmets humanitarian volunteer group, which performed emergency response functions in Syria. Le Mesurier was discovered dead early Monday in Turkey.
"And now the main founder of the White Helmets has been killed, he was an officer and he had worked his whole life with NATO in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, and Lebanon," Assad reportedly said. “I believe that these people… had been killed chiefly because they knew major secrets.”
The meme entered the mainstream earlier this week after Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., posted a series of tweets during the first day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump that spelled out, "Epstein didn't kill himself."
New York City’s medical examiner determined that Epstein took his own life in August, but vocal skeptics have suggested otherwise during random blurt-outs on television and other forums .
The mantra was uttered by a student during an interview on a recent MSNBC broadcast and also has been spotted on ESPN’s “College Game Day” on shirts.
Fox News’ Brian Flood, Louis Casiano and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.