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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 23, 2023

Former Clinton White House aide wasn't murdered

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  • The death of a former Clinton White House aide was ruled a suicide, not murder, according to authorities and the aide’s family. 

Unfounded conspiracy theories that Bill and Hillary Clinton have killed off scores of political enemies got fresh fuel Feb. 22 as rumors spread that a onetime aide to former President Bill Clinton was murdered. 

"Clinton aide FOUND DEAD, tied to tree in apparent murder but sheriff claims it was self-inflicted," reads a Feb. 22 Facebook post caption accompanying a video that discusses a Daily Mail article from the same day. 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The Daily Mail’s headline says: "EXCLUSIVE: Arkansas cops rule suicide in death of Clinton aide linked to Jeffrey Epstein — who was found shot and tied to a tree with an electrical cord around his neck — despite no sign of weapon." 

The story is about Mark Middleton, who worked in the Clinton White House and died May 7. 2022. His obituary didn’t mention a cause of death.

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A court petition filed by his widow and brother said Middleton died by suicide in Perry County, Arkansas, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported in June 2022. The petition urged the Perry County Circuit Court to prohibit the sheriff’s office and coroner from disclosing photos, videos or sketches from the scene of Middleton’s death, saying that his relatives have been "harassed by outlandish, hurtful, unsupported and offensive online articles regarding Mr. Middleton, his death and his family." 

Middleton’s brother later told a judge in court that Middleton had been battling depression with medical treatment for some time, but his condition had worsened over the five months before he died and his family had worried he was at risk, the Democrat-Gazette said. 

Middleton’s brother added that the family was "shocked" by conspiracy theories that emerged after Middleton’s death and that Middleton’s daughters had been "pursued" by a British tabloid among others about his death. 

Though the Daily Mail’s original story saying that Middleton’s death had been ruled a suicide "despite no sign of a weapon" remains online, a second story was published the following day with another headline saying a weapon was found. 

We rate claims that a Clinton aide was murdered False.


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Former Clinton White House aide wasn't murdered

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