Trump wondered aloud to aides if Ghislaine Maxwell spoke to investigators about him after her arrest: book
Former President Donald Trump wondered aloud to aides if socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, the girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, had said anything about him to investigators following her arrest.
According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s new book, “Confidence Man: The Making Of Donald Trump And The Breaking Of America,” Trump asked his campaign staffers during an Oval Office meeting in July 2020 if they had read an article about Maxwell in the New York Post.
“You see that article in the Post today that mentioned me?” Trump asked his staffers, per Haberman.
Haberman wrote that Trump was referring to reports about Maxwell that name-dropped him, including an article by the Post’s Page Six editor Emily Smith, which ran comments from Steve Hoffenberg, Epstein’s former associate.
Per the outlet, Hoffenberg had said that would be “naming some big names” in an effort to save herself after she was arrested in July 2020 and charged with six counts of grooming underage girls for sex with Epstein.
“Ghislaine thought she was untouchable — that she’d be protected by the intelligence communities she and Jeffrey helped with information: the Israeli intelligence services, and Les Wexner, who has given millions to Israel; by Prince Andrew, President Clinton and even by President Trump, who was well-known to be an acquaintance of her and Epstein’s,” he said, per Smith’s article, which was published on July 5, 2020.
According to Haberman, being mentioned in the article was one of Trump’s “worries.”
“He kept going, to silence. ‘She say anything about me?'” Haberman wrote, describing the former president’s reaction to the news.
Maxwell was sentenced on June 28 to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing girls and trafficking them into having sex with Epstein.
Trump told New York Magazine in 2002 that he had known Epstein for 15 years, and that he was a “terrific guy.”
“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,” Trump said at the time.
In 2019, Trump told reporters that he and Epstein had a “falling out” and had not spoken in 15 years.
As for Maxwell, Trump repeatedly wished her “well” as she waited to be tried for sex trafficking charges, saying he was not “looking for anything bad for her.”
“She’s now in jail, so yeah, I wish her well,” the president told Axios’ Jonathan Swan. “I would wish you well. I would wish a lot of people well. Good luck. Let them prove somebody was guilty.”
Former Trump associate George Houraney told The New York Times in 2019 that the then-president had once partied with Epstein and around two dozen women at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. The event took place in 1992, per Houraney’s account, and involved 28 girls being flown to Mar-a-Lago for a “calendar girl” competition.
Epstein pleaded guilty to charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida in 2007. He was known for having an elite circle of contacts that included presidents and Hollywood stars. Epstein died by apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2020, while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking minors.