WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has been playing down his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier under federal indictment on charges of sexually trafficking and abusing girls, but at least one night they shared together in the company of dozens of NFL cheerleaders was documented on camera.
A video from 1992 shows Trump and Epstein together at an event at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida, club. The video was broadcast on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday.
Dressed in a suit and tie, Trump, then 46, appears to be in jovial spirits as he plays host, laughing and welcoming guests, including Epstein — the man he now claims he was “never a fan of.”
The video provides a glimpse of Trump in his element: moving back and forth between the dance floor, filled with cheerleaders, and watching from the sidelines, where at one point he points out a woman to Epstein and leans in to tell him, “She’s hot.” At another point, Epstein laughs at something Trump whispers into his ear.
Trump is aware he is being filmed as he smiles and embraces a woman on the dance floor.
The party took place the same year Trump hosted a more private affair with Epstein at Mar-a-Lago, without cameras rolling. At that get-together, Trump and Epstein were the only male guests and had more than two dozen “calendar girls” flown in to provide them with entertainment, according to George Houraney, a Florida-based businessman who ran American Dream Enterprise and organized the women to attend at Trump’s request.
Speaking to reporters last week, the president distanced himself from Epstein, noting that he “knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him.” But Trump added: “I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.”
In 2002, Trump described Epstein as a “terrific guy” and told New York magazine: “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.”
The video renewed questions about whether Trump was aware Epstein was sexually involved with women who were too young to consent.