Donald Trump's claim that he barely knew convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein took a major hit this week with the release of a video showing the two chatting together at a private party at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, where they appeared to be discussing some young women in attendance.
President Trump has tried to distance himself from Epstein after the billionaire's arrest on charges of child sex trafficking. Though Trump had previously praised Epstein -- including his taste in younger women -- and attended parties with him, Trump claimed that Epstein was no different than any others in the elite circles of Manhattan and Palm Beach. As Vanity Fair noted, Trump claimed he was "not a fan" of Epstein.
As NBC News reported, new video evidence seems to show a much closer relationship. Footage from a private party at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort showed the two laughing and pointing at a group of young women. The footage was from an NBC special about Trump's lifestyle after his divorce, and the November, 1992 party included cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills, as the team was preparing for a game against the Miami Dolphins.
The footage showed Trump and Epstein talking together while watching women on the dance floor.
"Look at her, back there. … She's hot," Trump appeared to say in the video, as Epstein smiled and nodded. Trump then said something close to Epstein's ear that caused the billionaire financier to double over in laughter.
As the report noted, Trump claimed recently that he never liked Epstein, though the newly released footage and previous encounters seem to show a much closer relationship. As New York Magazine noted, Trump also hosted Epstein for a trip on his private plane, eight years after the party at Mar-a-Lago. It was at that same time that Epstein and girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell were accused of using Trump's resort to recruit underage women."In the summer of 2000, around the time the Maximum Golf story was published, Maxwell allegedly recruited 16-year-old Mar-a-Lago employee Virginia Roberts Giuffre to be one of Epstein's sex slaves, according to a lawsuit Giuffre filed against Maxwell, which was settled," the report noted.
Donald Trump is among a group of celebrities, world leaders and journalists who have been connected to Jeffrey Epstein. Former President Bill Clinton was a frequent guest on Epstein's private plane, where the billionaire was also alleged to have sexually abused underage girls. Epstein also maintained close connections to powerful circles, even after being released from prison, attending a welcome home party that included guests Katie Couric, Woody Allen and George Stephanopoulos.