US President Donald Trump derailed his coronavirus pandemic briefing with a surprise comment about the woman charged with aiding accused pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, saying he’d met her and wished her well.
The sole question unrelated to the virus at Tuesday’s press conference at the White House was about whether Ghislaine Maxwell, currently jailed in New York, may incriminate powerful people involved with Epstein’s sex slave ring.
“I don’t know, I haven’t been following it too much,” Trump deadpanned. “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.”
BREAKING: President Trump on Jeffrey Epstein Associate Ghislaine Maxwell:
"I just wish her well, frankly. I've met her numerous times over the years. — I just wish her well, whatever it is." pic.twitter.com/OQPmdMdaVx
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 21, 2020
“I don’t know the situation with Prince Andrew,” he added, when asked if Maxwell might incriminate the British royal named in the lawsuit against Epstein by women who allege being raped and trafficked as underage girls.
Trump’s critics in the media and Democrat activists immediately jumped on the comment, seeing it as somehow constituting an endorsement of Epstein and Maxwell’s abuse.
The 58-year-old socialite and daughter of media baron and alleged Israeli spy Robert Maxwell, had vanished following Epstein’s arrest in July 2019. She was eventually tracked down by the FBI to an estate in New Hampshire, where she was taken into custody earlier this month.
Maxwell has been ordered jailed without bond in New York City, overruling any coronavirus concerns. Her trial on charges of perjury and conspiring to sexually abuse children as young as 14 was scheduled for July 2021. She is reportedly being closely watched and even moved from cell to cell frequently, as a precaution against suicide or possible assassination.
Epstein, who spent decades socializing with the rich and powerful – and providing them with underage girls, as the allegations against him said – was found dead in his cell in August 2019. The official cause of death was ruled as suicide, but the chain of uncanny coincidences that accompanied it has since spawned a widespread belief that Epstein didn’t kill himself.
Trump’s critics have pointed to photos of the current president with Epstein and Maxwell as proof that he was somehow part of their sex ring. A deposition by one of Epstein and Maxwell’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, said that Trump “didn’t partake in any sex” with underage girls, however. Another court filing noted that Trump had banned Epstein from Mar-a-Lago after the financier was accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl at the resort.