Jeffrey Epstein: Trump once praised billionaire charged with sex trafficking minors for liking women 'on the younger side'

Davidoff Studios/Getty ImagesDonald Trump and his then-girlfriend, Melania, with the financier Jeffrey Epstein and the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 12, 2000.
  • In light of Jeffrey Epstein’s reported Saturday-night arrest on charges of sex trafficking minors, a quote from President Donald Trump praising the billionaire’s fondness for young women has resurfaced.
  • A Trump biographer, Tim O’Brien, tweeted the quote from a 2002 profile of Epstein in New York magazine, in which Trump said: “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. 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.”
  • Trump’s association with Epstein extends into allegations that women were lured directly into sex trafficking from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, with one woman claiming Epstein’s then-girlfriend recruited her for prostitution as a 15-year-old when she worked as a locker-room attendant at the resort.
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After reports emerged that the billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking of minors, links between the billionaire and President Donald Trump have drawn attention, including a 2002 quote from Trump that Epstein “likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

A Trump biographer, Tim O’Brien, tweeted the quote on Saturday. It came from a New York magazine profile of Epstein, in which Trump said: “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. 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.”

Few photos exist of Trump and Epstein together, but a 2000 photo shows the pair with Trump’s then-girlfriend, Melania, and Epstein’s then-girlfriend, the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

In 2017, Politico reported allegations that a woman claiming to have been part of a sex-trafficking ring run by Epstein was recruited directly by Maxwell in 1999 from Mar-a-Lago, where the woman, who was then 15 years old, worked as a locker-room attendant.


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Jeffrey Epstein has reportedly been arrested and charged with sex trafficking of minors

The 1999 accusations mirror those detailed in a Saturday report by The Daily Beast, which cited three unnamed law-enforcement sources as saying that Epstein had been charged with trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida from 2002 to 2005.

Epstein is already a convicted sex offender, having been accused of molesting dozens of underage girls in Florida before signing a secret plea agreement in 2008 that allowed him to avoid federal prosecution and jail time. The plea deal, signed by federal prosecutors includingTrump’s current labour secretary, Alexander Acosta, was ruled unconstitutional by a Palm Beach judge in February.

The new allegations of sexual exploitation reportedly accuse him of coercing minors – such as the 1999 Mar-a-Lago locker-room attendant – into giving him “massages” and of then molesting or sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side or Palm Beach residences.

The trafficking allegations accuse Epstein of flying minors aboard his private 727 jet between the New York and Florida residences. Epstein, a money manager and philanthropist, has donated to the Clinton Foundation repeatedly and lent his jet to former President Bill Clinton for overseas trips.

Neither the Trump Organisation nor the White House immediately responded to Business Insider’s requests for comment.

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