During the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump made clear he would use Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual history against his opponent, Hillary Clinton, but many noted that Trump carefully avoided bringing up the former president’s connection to Jeffrey Epstein.
VICE News published a brief but telling history of Trump’s own relationship with Epstein — a convicted sex offender who preyed on underage girls — which is likely why now-President Trump failed to pounce on what would have been an easy attack.
Among the numerous details VICE outlines is a curious back and forth between Epstein and the prosecutor during his trial in 2010:
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.
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.
Attorney Brad Edwards, who represents Virginia Roberts — a woman who claims that Epstein forced her into prostitution as a teenager — said that Trump voluntarily sat for a deposition in 2009 after being served with a subpoena.
Edwards also said that it is "obvious" Trump himself was not involved in any of Epstein's illicit activity.
Trump’s attorneys worked to distance the real estate mogul from Epstein, maintaining that any relationship was limited to Epstein’s visits to Mar-a-Lago; however, evidence pointing to a closer friendship appears plentiful.
As has been widely reported, Trump offered kind words regarding Epstein years ago:
"I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,'' Trump told New York magazine in a 2002 profile of Epstein written three years before Epstein began to be investigated. "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."