Donald Trump doubled down on his support of Ghislaine Maxwell last night and said he does wish her well as she proceeds to trial on charges of child sex trafficking for her ‘boyfriend’ Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell is currently in custody in Brooklyn and faces 35 years behind bars if convicted of the charges.
Prosecutors say she procured underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein in the 1990s and that the pair both he sexually abused them. She denies the claims.
Epstein, who killed himself in jail last year on similar charges, escaped justice.
While Attorney General Bill Barr has vowed not to allow Maxwell the chance to take her own life in custody, Trump has offered a more sympathetic tone to the British socialite.
‘Well, her boyfriend died in jail, and people are still trying to figure out how did it happen. Was it suicide? Was he killed? And I do wish her well.
‘I’m not looking for anything bad for her. I’m not looking bad for anybody,’ he said.
He then said Maxwell was innocent until proven guilty, continuing: ‘Yeah, I’d wish her well. I’d wish you well, I’d wish a lot of people well. Good luck. Let them prove somebody was guilty.’
Before Maxwell’s arrest, dozens of women claimed in lawsuits that she trafficked them for Epstein and for his network of high profile friends.
There is no suggestion that Trump was ever involved in any of the late pedophile’s sexual activity.
The president and Epstein were friends at one time and he described him as a ‘terrific guy’ who had a taste for ‘younger ladies’.
Epstein was found hanging in his Manhattan prison cell in August last year while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.
Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein
Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein
The 66-year-old’s death was ruled a suicide but his attorneys and some family members claim he was murdered to stop him from sharing what he knows about other high profile, powerful people.
Trump’s kind message to Maxwell comes after he recounted how he’d met the alleged madam ‘numerous times’ in Palm Beach, Florida, at a press conference at the White House on July 21.
Asked whether he thought Maxwell, 58, would turn in the names of powerful people, Trump responded saying he ‘hadn’t been following it too much’ but that he ‘wishes her well’.
‘I just wish her well frankly,’ he said.
‘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 then reinforced his well-wishes for Maxwell and said he doesn’t know about the ‘situation’ with Prince Andrew.
‘But I wish her well whatever it is,’ he said. ‘I don’t know the situation with Prince Andrew. I don’t know, I’m just not aware of it.’
One of Epstein’s victims Virginia Roberts Giuffre claims she was coerced into having sex with the Prince Andrew as a 17-year-old – claims the prince strongly denies.
Trump knew Epstein and Maxwell for decades, running in the same elite social circles in Florida and New York in the 1980s and 1990s before the pedophile’s fall from grace.
Epstein’s sprawling waterfront property in Palm Beach, where many of his victims said they were lured to and sexually abused, is just 1.8 miles down the road from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club.
In 1992, the future president organized a ‘calendar girls’ party with 28 women, with Epstein and himself the only men, according to Vanity Fair.
The two men were also seen on recently surfaced video footage partying together that year at Mar-a-Lago with cheerleaders from the Buffalo Bills.
In the footage, Trump is heard saying: ‘Look at her… she’s hot.’
In 1997, Trump also flew from Palm Beach to Newark, New Jersey, on Epstein’s plane with Maxwell also aboard.
Now famous photos taken at Mar-a-Lago show the president posing with future First Lady Melania Trump, Epstein and Maxwell later in February 2000.
Trump heaped praise on Epstein back then calling him a ‘terrific guy’ who likes women ‘on the younger side’.
‘He’s a lot of fun to be with,’ Trump said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2002.
‘It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.’
Trump and Epstein reportedly fell out around 2004, in a dispute over a property purchase.
Four years later in 2018, Epstein pleaded guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor under the age of 18 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
The president has since sought to distance himself from Epstein and downplay his relationship with the pedophile.
One month before Epstein died in a New York jail cell in August last year, Trump said he was ‘not a fan’.
‘I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years,’ Trump said at a White House press conference.
‘I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.’
Some of Epstein’s victims have mentioned Trump and Mar-a-Lago in their accounts of events surrounding the abuse.
The president is mentioned in a civil suit filed by an unnamed woman who is suing Epstein’s estate.
The alleged Epstein victim claims her abuser took her to Mar-a-Lago when she was just 14 and showed her to Trump.
She claims Epstein elbowed Trump ‘playfully’ and said: ‘This is a good one, right?’
There is no suggestion Trump knew she was underage or was involved in any abuse.
Roberts Guiffre claims Epstein used Mar-a-Lago to prey on and recruit young girls into his sex-trafficking operation.
She claims she first met the pedophile as a 15-year-old working as a locker room attendant at Mar-a-Lago in 1999.
Newly resurfaced footage from 2015 also shows Trump telling reporters to ask Prince Andrew about Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘pedophile island’.
In in an interview with Bloomberg, Trump said: ‘That island was really a cesspool, there’s no question about it.
‘Just ask Prince Andrew, he’ll tell you about it. The island was an absolute cesspool.’
The connections between the pedophile and the president ramped up last month when Attorney General Barr said Trump had ordered him to fire Geoffrey S. Berman, United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Berman’s office charged Epstein with child sex trafficking last year.
Maxwell was denied bail last month and learned she must stay locked up until her sex trafficking trial in summer 2021.
She is now being held in a Brooklyn jail after pleading not guilty to trafficking minors for Epstein.
Maxwell had been lying low since Epstein’s death last year but was arrested earlier in the month, when authorities swooped on her luxury home in New Hampshire where prosecutors say she was hiding out.
She was romantically involved with the pedophile from around 1992, but then became his ‘right-hand woman’, managing his property empire and, it is alleged, his trafficking of minors.
Maxwell is currently in custody in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where she has been given paper clothes to prevent her committing suicide.