Fact Check

Are These Real Photos of Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein?

“It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side,” Trump reportedly said in 2002.

Published Dec 27, 2023

 ( Getty Images)
Image Via Getty Images
Claim:
Photos authentically depict Donald Trump and wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein together in 2000.

The relationship between Trump and Epstein, the late financier, has long been the focus of intense scrutiny, given that they shared a social circle both in New York and Florida. While apparently close in their younger days, after Epstein's criminal conviction for sex offenses and new charges for sex trafficking and Trump's foray into politics, the friendship apparently waned.

The above photo, taken on Feb. 12, 2000, is one of several taken that night authentically depicting (from left to right) Trump, his future wife Melania Trump (Melania Knavs at the time), Epstein, and his longtime partner Ghislaine Maxwell, who was also later charged with and convicted of sex trafficking underage girls.

The photos can be found on Getty Images, published by Davidoff Studios Photography. They're captioned:

Trump, Knauss, Epstein, & Maxwell At Mar-A-Lago

From left, American real estate developer Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)

“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump is famously quoted as saying of Epstein in an interview for New York magazine in 2002. “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.”

Another photo by the same photography company captures the two men three years earlier in 1997, also at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

(Getty Images)

On July 9, 2019, the day after Epstein appeared in court for the second time on charges of sexual abuse of underage girls, Trump told reporters: "I had a falling out a long time ago with him. I don't think I've spoken to him in 15 years." He continued, "I was not a fan of his." Epstein later hanged himself in jail while awaiting trial on the sex-trafficking charges.

We've previously reported on other images depicting the two men, including one that was AI-generated and another that was doctored.

Sources

Baum, Sarah. ‘Does This Photo Show Trump and Epstein with Underage Girls?’ Snopes, 14 July 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-and-epstein-with-underage-girl/.

Culture, Sophie Lloyd Pop, and Entertainment Reporter. ‘Jeffrey Epstein List of Associates Sparks Conspiracy Theories’. Newsweek, 20 Dec. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/jeffrey-epstein-list-associates-conspiracy-theories-donald-trump-removed-colorado-ballot-maga-qanon-1853982.

Evon, Dan. ‘Is This Photo of Trump Kissing Epstein Real?’ Snopes, 22 July 2020, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-kissing-epstein-photo/.

‘How Did Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump Know Each Other?’ Cosmopolitan, 15 June 2020, https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/reports/a32836718/jeffrey-epstein-donald-trump-friendship/.

Jr, Landon Thomas. ‘Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery’. New York Magazine, 28 Oct. 2002, https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/n_7912/.

Mangan, Dan. ‘Trump Says He’s “not a Fan” of Jeffrey Epstein — Won’t Explain “Falling out” with Accused Child Sex Trafficker’. CNBC, 9 July 2019, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/09/trump-not-a-fan-of-jeffrey-epstein-accused-sex-trafficker.html.

Nast, Condé. ‘“He’s a Lot of Fun to Be With”: Inside Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump’s Epic Bromance’. Vanity Fair, 21 Jan. 2021, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/01/jeffrey-epstein-and-donald-trump-epic-bromance.

Shoaib, Alia. ‘Jeffrey Epstein Believed He Could Make a Deal with Prosecutors by Revealing the Secrets of Donald Trump or Bill Clinton, a New Book Says’. Business Insider, https://www.businessinsider.com/jeffrey-epstein-trump-or-clinton-secrets-were-basis-for-deal-book-say-2021-10. Accessed 21 Dec. 2023.

Taija PerryCook is a Seattle-based journalist who previously worked for the PNW news site Crosscut and the Jordan Times in Amman.