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Billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking minors in New York City, New York, on Saturday.
When news of Epstein’s arrest broke, President Donald Trump biographer Tim O’Brien shared an old, skeevy quote from Trump regarding Epstein and “younger” women.
“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told 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.”
“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. 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.” - Donald Trump, 2002 https://t.co/3pbKrcFdn6— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) July 7, 2019
Trump was speaking with the magazine for a profile on Epstein, who was a friend of his.
The charges Epstein is now facing are related to events that occurred in the early 2000s. According to the Daily Beast, he is being accused of paying minors for massages and then molesting them–between 2002 and 2005–in both New York and Florida.
In 2007, Epstein signed a controversial plea deal to avoid federal charges, which stemmed from older accusations that he molested dozens of minors in Florida. Last February, the Justice Department opened an investigation on the negotiated plea deal, following requests from Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.)
The plea deal was negotiated by a member of Trump’s cabinet, Alexander Acosta, when he was the top federal prosecutor in Miami, Florida, at the time. Acosta is currently the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
Epstein has surrounded himself with powerful, influential people throughout his life and career, such as former President Bill Clinton.
He is expected to appear in court on July 8.
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Stéphanie Fillion is a French-Canadian journalist covering politics and foreign affairs in Montreal, Canada. She has worked for Radio-Canada in Vancouver and was a San Paolo fellow at La Stampa in Turin. In 2015, she won the Eu-Canada Young Journalist Award. She holds an M.A. in Journalism, Politics and Global Affairs from Columbia Journalism School and a B.A. in Comparative Politics, History and Italian Studies from McGill University. Her work appeared in outlets such as Quartz, Vice News, Ipolitics, and PassBlue.