Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Dark Secrets: The Disturbing Truth About Donald Trump and Epstein’s Friendship

Donald Trump with Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, and Melania Trump

For nearly two decades, former President Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein ran in the same social circles, attended the same parties, and cultivated a friendship that would later become the subject of intense scrutiny and speculation. As more information has come to light about Epstein’s crimes in recent years, Trump has understandably attempted to distance himself from the disgraced financier. However, a closer examination of their relationship reveals a disturbing pattern of behavior and raises serious questions.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) criticized the media for ignoring Trump’s presence in the recently released Epstein documents. “We hear a lot from our constituents on different issues,” Lieu said, “but something that isn’t getting enough attention are the Epstein files.” The California Democrat’s remarks fueled the viral spread of #TrumpPedoFiles on Twitter, drawing renewed attention to the disturbing claims against the former president. Lieu’s critique highlights rising frustrations over perceived reluctance by the mainstream media in probing Trump’s potential connections to Epstein’s sordid activities.

On July 1st, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Luis Delgado ordered the release of damning grand jury documents, describing the testimony as revealing “sexually deviant, disgusting, and criminal” conduct. This decision came after a three-year push by Palm Beach County Clerk Joseph Abruzzo to make these records public. The documents shed light on Trump’s frequent communications with Epstein between 2004 and 2006, a period when Epstein’s predatory behavior was allegedly at its peak. 

Epstein files, call logs include Donald Trump
From the Epstein files, Epstein’s call logs included Trump on numerous occasions

The newly released documents have reignited controversy surrounding former U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta’s role in Jeffrey Epstein’s 2008 plea deal. This agreement, widely condemned as a miscarriage of justice, allowed the wealthy financier to evade federal prosecution for sexually exploiting minors. Despite allegations of widespread abuse across Florida and New York from 2002 to 2005, Epstein faced only minor state charges. 

The agreement’s repercussions followed Acosta into his role as Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary, ultimately forcing him to resign in 2019 after federal prosecutors brought new charges against Epstein and his lenient plea deal was publicized. Acosta’s past also includes a clerkship for conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Notably, Trump is believed to be the individual referred to as “Doe 174” in the documents, identified by his public statement wishing Epstein’s convicted accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell well. 

Epstein Invokes Fifth on Trump and Underage Girls

While Epstein readily acknowledged a personal relationship with Donald Trump under oath, he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights when pressed about potentially socializing with the former president in the presence of underage girls. The issue came to light during a 2010 deposition, where Epstein confirmed socializing with Trump, but abruptly pled the Fifth when asked if minors were present during these encounters. This selective transparency is highly suspicious and raises more questions than it answers.

Q: Have you ever had a personal relationship with Donald Trump?

A. What do you mean by “personal relationship,” sir?

Q. Have you socialized with him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Yes?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you ever socialized with Donald Trump in the presence of females under the age of 18?

A: Though I’d like to answer that question, at least today I’m going to have to assert my Fifth, Sixth, and 14th Amendment rights, sir.

A Friendship Forms in Palm Beach

Donald Trump with Epstein in 1992
Donald Trump with Epstein in 1992

Trump and Epstein’s association dates back to at least the late 1980s, when both were fixtures of the Palm Beach social scene. Trump himself confirmed the length of their relationship in a 2002 interview with New York Magazine, stating: “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with.”

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Trump and Epstein were frequently photographed together at social events in Palm Beach and New York. They attended the same exclusive parties, flew on each other’s private jets, and Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort was a frequent stomping (and recruiting) ground for Epstein.

One particularly illuminating incident occurred in 1992, when Trump hosted a party at Mar-a-Lago that was attended by 28 young women for a “calendar girl” competition. The only men in attendance? Trump and Epstein. “I said, ‘Donald, this is supposed to be a party with V.I.P.s. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein?’” Houraney told the New York Times. 

George Houraney, who organized the event, said he warned Trump about Epstein’s behavior, saying: “Look, Donald, I know Jeff really well, I can’t have him going after younger girls.” But Trump reportedly dismissed his concerns and went ahead with the party anyway.

This aligns with a concerning broader pattern of Trump, at the minimum, overlooking Epstein’s predatory actions towards young women and girls. In a revealing 2002 New York Magazine profile, Trump made a telling comment about Epstein: “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.” This remark hints at Trump’s awareness of Epstein’s criminality and raises questions about his willingness to ignore or even condone such behavior.

The casual way Trump references Epstein’s preference for “younger” women is chilling in retrospect, knowing what we now know about the extent of Epstein’s sex trafficking operation. It suggests Trump was at least aware of Epstein’s behavior, yet continued to associate closely with him for years afterward.

Hoffenberg: Trump Was Crazy About Maxwell

Any examination of Trump’s ties to Epstein must also consider his relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime girlfriend and accomplice in his sex trafficking operation. 

Donald Trump with Ghislaine Maxwell
Donald Trump with Ghislaine Maxwell

According to Steven Hoffenberg, a former Trump acquaintance and Epstein’s ex-business partner, Trump’s affinity extended beyond Epstein himself. “Donald liked Epstein,” Hoffenberg stated, “But he was crazy about Maxwell, a very charming lady.”

Trump and Ghislaine Maxwell were frequently photographed together at various social events over the years, underscoring their close acquaintanceship. Trump’s public appearances with Epstein and Maxwell also garnered significant media attention; notably, in February 2000, Epstein, accompanied by Maxwell, attended a celebrity tennis tournament at Mar-a-Lago. During this event, Epstein brought along Prince Andrew, resulting in photographs of Trump with the British royal and Trump’s then-girlfriend, Melania Knauss.

Trump with Ghislaine Maxwell, newspaper clipping

After Maxwell’s arrest for sex trafficking in 2020, Trump raised eyebrows when he said of her: “I 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.”

This oddly sympathetic comment about a sex trafficker drew criticism from many, and once again raised questions about the true nature of Trump’s connections to Epstein’s inner circle.

Suspiciously Young Women at Mar-a-Lago

Multiple sources have described seeing unusually young women and girls around Trump and Epstein at Mar-a-Lago in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Roger Stone, a longtime advisor to Donald Trump, revealed in his 2016 book that after visiting Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach home, Trump remarked about the pool being filled with girls. Trump jokingly commented that it was nice of Epstein to let “the neighborhood kids use his pool.” 

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein’s most prominent accusers, has stated that she was recruited into Epstein’s sex trafficking ring by Ghislaine Maxwell in 2000 while working as a spa attendant at Mar-a-Lago at age 16. While Giuffre has not accused Trump of any wrongdoing, that Epstein and his associates were apparently recruiting underage girls directly from Trump’s property is suspicious.

Epstein’s Little Black Book

When Epstein’s infamous “little black book” of contacts was made public as part of various court proceedings, it contained 14 phone numbers connected to Donald Trump.

The extensive list of contact methods for reaching Trump in Jeffrey Epstein’s book underscores the closeness and frequency of their communications, blowing up Trump’s assertions that he barely knew Epstein. Numerous victims have testified that Epstein used this book to connect with influential figures who could either support his sex trafficking operation or become potential clients. 

This black book not only exposes the depth of Trump’s relationship with Epstein but also highlights the broader network of powerful individuals entangled in Epstein’s network, including Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew.

Trump’s Disturbing Comments About Women

While Trump’s connections to Epstein are concerning enough on their own, they become even more troubling when viewed in the context of Trump’s long history of sexualizing young women and girls—including his own daughter.

During a 2013 interview on The Wendy Williams Show, Trump was asked about his and his daughter Ivanka’s favorite things. He provocatively responded, “I was going to say sex, but I can relate to [golf and real estate].” In a 2006 episode of The View, Trump made a disconcerting remark when asked about Ivanka posing for Playboy, saying, “Ivanka posing for Playboy would be really disappointing… not really. But it would depend on what was inside the magazine… Although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” 

On The Howard Stern Show in 2003, Trump boasted, “You know who’s one of the great beauties of the world, according to everybody? And I helped create her. Ivanka. My daughter, Ivanka. She’s 6 feet tall, she’s got the best body.” 

During a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, Trump remarked, “Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father…” And a 2016 Buzzfeed News scoop revealed that Trump once asked, “Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?” 

According to the recently published book Blowback: A Warning to Save Democracy From the Next Trump, Trump often made lewd comments about Ivanka, discussing her breasts and backside, and fantasizing about sex with her, which once led John Kelly to remind him Ivanka was his daughter.

Trump has made many comments over the years sexualizing underage girls, from saying he’d be dating a 10-year-old girl in 10 years, to bragging about barging into dressing rooms at his beauty pageants to see contestants naked, some of whom were as young as 15. And of course, there’s the infamous Access Hollywood tape where Trump brags about being able to get away with sexually assaulting women because he’s a star.

This pattern of behavior and comments makes Trump’s close association with a known pedophile and sex trafficker like Epstein all the more disturbing. It suggests that, at a minimum, Trump was comfortable socializing closely with someone he likely knew or suspected was abusing underage girls.

Trump’s Pattern of Projecting Controversies onto Opponents

As the evidence mounts about Trump’s own extensive ties to Epstein over many years, it’s notable how quickly he has attempted to shift the focus onto others through baseless accusations and conspiracy theories. This deflection seems to fit Trump’s well-documented pattern of projecting his own controversies and misdeeds onto his political opponents.

In a trademark move shortly after Epstein’s death, Trump took to Twitter to retweet an unfounded conspiracy theory alleging Bill Clinton was connected to Epstein’s death. This distraction tactic conveniently diverts scrutiny away from Trump’s own well-established links to Epstein’s operations and onto a political rival.

trump retweet epstein projection
Tweet Trump retweeted in 2019

This conspiratorial finger-pointing by Trump isn’t a new tactic for him, and is designed to sow confusion and doubt in the minds of the public. If everyone is implicated, then his own well-documented relationship with Epstein over many years gets diminished amidst the noise and chaos. It’s a strategy straight out of the disinformation playbook—create a storm of distractions and counter-allegations so the truth becomes buried.

2016 Lawsuit Accusing Trump of Rape

While Trump has not been directly implicated in Epstein’s sex trafficking operation, he has faced accusations of sexual misconduct related to Epstein over the years.

In 2016, a woman filed a lawsuit under the pseudonym “Katie Johnson” accusing Trump of raping her at one of Epstein’s parties in 1994, when she was 13 years old. She alleged Trump tied her to a bed and violently raped her, and that Epstein also raped her and other underage girls at the party.

trump lawsuit 2016

The lawsuit was later voluntarily dismissed, but the circumstances of the case raise troubling questions. Johnson’s attorneys cited threats against her as the reason for withdrawing the lawsuit, leaving the disturbing accusations unproven in court. However, according to investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, Trump and his allies at the National Enquirer sought to silence Johnson through intimidation tactics, including efforts to “track down the woman” and “see what they could do about her.” 

While the specifics of these alleged threats remain unclear, their apparent impact is undeniable—Johnson became too fearful to reveal her identity publicly and hasn’t been heard from since the lawsuit was dismissed. This pattern mirrors the National Enquirer’s “catch and kill” tactics exposed during Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York, where stories about Trump were buried. 

Sarah Ransome, allegedly abused by Trump, Bill Clinton, and Epstein
Sarah Ransome’s claims

It’s also worth noting that Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct, assault, or harassment by 26 other women over the years, and was recently found liable for sexually abusing E. Jean Caroll in 1996. While most of these accusations do not involve Epstein, they establish a clear pattern of predatory behavior towards women that makes Trump’s close association with Epstein seem more ominous.

The Suspicious Circumstances of Epstein’s Death

One of the most controversial aspects of the Epstein saga was his death in federal custody in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. While officially ruled a suicide, many questions remain about the circumstances of Epstein’s death.

It’s worth noting that at the time, Epstein was being held in a federal facility that fell under the purview of Attorney General William Barr, who acted as Trump’s fixer on numerous occasions. The significant irregularities surrounding Epstein’s death — from guards failing to conduct required checks, to surveillance cameras mysteriously malfunctioning, to his cellmate being transferred out the day before Epstein died—have fueled speculation about whether foul play was involved to silence Epstein.

In an unprecedented move, Barr personally interrogated Epstein’s last cellmate, Reyes, about Epstein’s death and reportedly told Reyes, “I owe you a favor, thank you for telling us the truth.” This direct involvement raises eyebrows given Barr’s various ties to Epstein: Epstein previously hired Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Barr’s father had employed Epstein to teach at an elite New York City school. Despite these apparent conflicts, Barr refused to recuse himself from the case.

While there’s no direct evidence implicating Trump in Epstein’s death, the fact that it occurred under such suspicious circumstances while Epstein was in the custody of Trump’s DOJ is certainly eyebrow-raising given their prior connections and the potential damage Epstein could have inflicted on Trump if he cooperated with prosecutors.

Decades-Long Association Demands Scrutiny

The recently released grand jury documents shine new light on Donald Trump’s extensive ties to Jeffrey Epstein over many years, raising disturbing questions about what Trump knew and what role he may have played in Epstein’s prolific sex trafficking crimes. While Trump has attempted to distance himself from Epstein, the evidence paints a picture of two men running in very close circles, attending the same parties. 

The American people have a right to know the truth about the man who once held—and might again hold—the highest office in the land. Was Trump merely an unwitting associate of a prolific sexual predator? Or was he aware of or even involved in Epstein’s crimes?

These are not pleasant questions, but they are vitally important. The victims of Epstein and Maxwell’s abuse deserve justice and accountability—not just from Epstein and Maxwell, but from anyone who enabled or turned a blind eye to their crimes, no matter how wealthy or powerful they may be.

The story of Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein is far from over. Fresh revelations continue to emerge, raising ever more questions about the true nature of their relationship. While we may never know everything that transpired between these two powerful men, one thing is clear: their decades-long association demands further scrutiny and investigation from a mainstream media that has often turned a blind eye to potential abuses by society’s elite.