One of the stranger moments at President Donald Trump coronavirus press briefing Tuesday came when a reporter asked him about Ghislaine Maxwell, the recently indicted associate of Jeffrey Epstein, and whether she would name powerful people.
The reporter, Steven Nelson of The New York Post, asked the president: “Ghislaine Maxwell is in prison, so a lot of people want to know if she is going to turn in powerful people. I know you’ve talked in the past about Prince Andrew, you criticized Bill Clinton’s behavior – I’m wondering, do you feel that she’s going to turn in powerful men? How do you see that working out?”
“I don’t know, I haven’t really been following it too much,” Trump told him. “I just wish her well, frankly. I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach, and I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well, whatever it is.”
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges that she helped Epstein in arranging underage girls for a sex trafficking ring.
Watch the press conference exchange below.
Last week, video surfaced of a 2015 interview in which Trump said, “Just ask Prince Andrew. He’s tell you about it. The island was an absolute cesspool.”
Trump’s connections to Epstein have been documented, as they mingled in the same circles in New York and Palm Beach, FL. In 2002, when Epstein’s ability to amass connections with the rich and famous were becoming the source of journalistic curiosity, Trump told New York magazine: “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
After Epstein’s arrest last year on sex trafficking charges, Trump’s attorney told the Washington Post that the president had “no relationship” with him and that he prohibited him from visiting Mar-a-Lago around the time criminal charges were originally filed in 2007. Epstein died in jail in August, in what a coroner concluded was a suicide.