In recent days, financier Jeffrey Epstein was charged with child sex trafficking, years after U.S. Attorney turned Trump administration Labor Secretary Alex Acosta helped Epstein get off the hook for the same behavior via an illegally lenient plea deal. President Donald Trump has attempted to distance himself from Epstein, but the facts remain. The two were close enough that in 1992, Trump had a man named George Houraney organize a “calendar girl” competition at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort under the assumption that there would be a group of V.I.P.s present. In reality, it was just Trump and Epstein, according to Houraney, who says he showed up with “28 girls.”
Houraney tells The New York Times:
‘I arranged to have some contestants fly in. At the very first party, I said, “Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.” It was just him and Epstein… I said, “Donald, this is supposed to be a party with V.I.P.s. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein?”… I said, “Look, Donald, I know Jeff really well, I can’t have him going after younger girls.”‘
Houraney adds that he “pretty much had to ban Jeff” from his events, but Trump didn’t care, although he eventually barred the financier from Mar-a-Lago after he seemingly tried to recruit someone there for his sex trafficking scheme. That scheme included manipulating girls into coming into one his homes where he forced them into sexual encounters and sometimes into finding more girls for him to exploit. In a raid of his New York residence just recently, authorities found images suggesting this exploitation was still ongoing and that Epstein still posed an active threat to the community.
Trump himself has previously been accused of inappropriate behavior surrounding beauty pageants that he helped run. He’s been alleged to have sexually harassed contestants including via barging into dressing rooms just because he felt like it. Eventually, he was caught on tape bragging about his supposed freedom to commit sexual assault, leading credence to those allegations and the many others against him of sexual harassment and assault. Most recently, author E. Jean Carroll came forward with a story of Trump sexually assaulting her in the 1990s.
His relationship with Epstein adds another disturbing facet to his behavior. In the early 2000s, Trump told New York Magazine that he’d known Epstein for 15 years and he’s “a lot of fun to be with.” He added that “it is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” Although he’s not alone in this, that and other anecdotes seem to suggest that at the very least, Trump had reason to be concerned about Epstein’s behavior, but he did nothing. According to Roger Stone, after a visit to Epstein’s Florida home, Trump joked about Epstein having “let the neighborhood kids use his pool” in light of the apparent young girls that he saw there.
Epstein has other high-profile connections besides Trump, having even occasionally associated with former President Bill Clinton many years ago. Many have speculated that as part of authorities’ new case against Epstein, other high-profile people could go down.
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