Conservatives reacted on Tuesday to claims that Donald Trump had flown on deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet by downplaying or outright ignoring the accusation.
Epstein’s former pilot Lawrence Visoski testified this week during the trial against Ghislaine Maxwell, the convicted sex offender’s former confidant, that Trump had flown on Epstein’s plane years before his presidency.
Maxwell currently faces six charges related to sex trafficking and abuse in relation to her alleged role as Epstein’s right-hand woman or “madam.”
Aside from Trump, Visoski noted that he had also spotted political heavyweights such as former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, as well as U.S. senators like John Glenn and George Mitchell on the plane. Hollywood stars including Chris Tucker and Kevin Spacey as well as violinist Itzhak Perlman were also named.
“I certainly remember President Trump, but not many people associated with him,” the pilot said.
Visoski also alleged that he had never seen any sexual activity or underage children without their parents on the Gulf Stream jet.
In the days prior to Maxwell’s trial, prominent conservatives on social media accused the media of purposely ignoring the trial. Fox News host Tucker Carlson went as far as to suggest that other press outlets were acting as if Maxwell’s trial was “simply not happening.”
But with Trump’s name referenced, it’s now far-right media outlets who are ignoring the story. Over on the conspiratorial Gateway Pundit, the only article discussing the trial fails to mention Trump altogether. The Gateway Pundit had even published an article on Nov. 21 stating that the case had gotten “little attention from Big Media” while un-ironically quoting coverage from Retuers.
Over on Breitbart, not a single article regarding the trial could be found as of Tuesday afternoon.
But not all Trump supporters were ignoring the allegations. Many were instead suggesting that the claims were false or not of interest.
Far-right commentator Jack Posobiec weighed in by noting that the alleged flight had already been known before referencing reports that Trump had banned Epstein from his private resort for hitting on a member’s teenage daughter.
While many attempted to downplay Trump’s connections to Epstein, others noted the former president’s comments from 2002 in which he appeared to allude to the pedophile’s penchant for young females.
“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York magazine at the time. “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.”
And although a 2016 lawsuit alleged that Trump had raped a 13-year-old girl in Epstein Manhattan home in 1994, the suit was voluntarily dismissed.
No accusations of wrongdoing have been made against Trump in the trial against Maxwell thus far.
Trump did turn heads, however, in July 2020 during a coronavirus conference when he wished the accused sex trafficker well when asked about her arrest.
“I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach, and I guess they lived in Palm Beach,” Trump said. “But I wish her well, whatever it is.”
Despite widespread criticism of the remark, Trump doubled down two weeks later in further remarks.
“Yeah, I wish her well,” Trump told Axios’ Jonathan Swan. “I’d wish you well. I’d wish a lot of people well. Good luck. Let them prove somebody was guilty.”
Although Trump’s more militant followers downplayed the pilot’s comments, not all right-leaning outlets ignored the story.
Sites such as the Daily Caller and the Daily Wire covered Visoski’s testimony on Tuesday.
Arguably, Trump supporters in many ways are acting similar to some prominent Democrats in the wake of accusations regarding Clinton’s friendship with Epstein.
Epstein was found dead from an apparent suicide in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City in 2019 after being arrested on sex trafficking charges.