On Dec. 18, 2023, a U.S. federal judge ordered that a list of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's associates and victims would be made public in 2024. Most of the names that would be revealed were already public, The Associated Press reported.
After this news broke, users on Facebook, X and Truth Social reposted an old quote they attributed to former U.S. President Donald Trump. According to the posts, Trump had once praised Epstein as being a "terrific guy," and added, "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."
This was a genuine quote from Trump. It appeared in the article, "Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery." The story was published by New York Magazine on Oct. 28, 2002, just over 14 years before Trump claimed victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
According to the article, Trump had spoken the words in the quote during a phone interview:
Epstein likes to tell people that he’s a loner, a man who’s never touched alcohol or drugs, and one whose nightlife is far from energetic. And yet if you talk to Donald Trump, a different Epstein emerges. “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump booms from a speakerphone. “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.”
Trump Was Asked About the Quote in 2019
On July 6, 2019, Epstein was arrested and indicted on charges of the sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.
Three days later, on July 9, Trump was asked by an unidentified reporter in the Oval Office, "Do you still think Jeffrey Epstein is a 'terrific guy?'"
In response, Trump said three times that he was not a "fan" of Epstein's:
Well, I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. I mean, people in Palm Beach knew him. He was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don't think I've spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn't a fan. I was not, yeah, a long time ago, I'd say maybe 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you. I was not a fan of his.
At the time, Politico posted a video of Trump's full answer:
Reporter: Do you still think Jeffrey Epstein is a 'terrific guy'?
Trump: Well, I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach... He was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don't think I've spoken to him for 15 years.. I was not a fan of his pic.twitter.com/l4wVbolshO
— POLITICO (@politico) July 9, 2019
Trump On Ghislaine Maxwell: 'I Wish Her Well'
In a related remark, in July 2020, Trump was asked about the case involving Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who, at the time, the U.S. Justice Department had just arrested and charged for conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse minors. During his answer, Trump said, "I just wish her well, frankly." He then mentioned a second time, "I wish her well."
More than one year later, on Dec. 29, 2021, Maxwell was convicted of multiple charges. She was then sentenced to 20 years in prison for what the U.S. Justice Department described as "her role in a scheme to sexually exploit and abuse multiple minor girls with Jeffrey Epstein over the course of a decade."
Days prior to her conviction, the Miami Herald published information about flights that Trump had taken on Epstein's jets. According to the reporting, Epstein's flight logs were released as evidence in Maxwell's trial. The logs showed that Trump had flown at least seven times, with all of the flights being between Palm Beach, Florida and New York City airports. Meanwhile, former U.S. President Bill Clinton had flown on Epstein's jets at least nine times. In a statement, a spokesperson for Clinton said in 2019 that Clinton knew "nothing" about Epstein's crimes. The Herald noted that neither of the two former presidents had been accused of sexual misconduct involving Epstein.
We previously published many other articles that covered additional claims involving Trump, Clinton and Epstein, including rumors about various real and fake photos and videos. Further, for more information about the Epstein scandal, we recommend this detailed timeline.