White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that President Trump was thinking about Jeffrey Epstein’s mysterious suicide when he gave well-wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell on Tuesday.
Maxwell is jailed on federal charges of helping Epstein traffic and abuse girls, and Trump’s surprising word for her spurred conspiracy theories.
But McEnany said Trump was thinking about Epstein’s August 2019 death in custody.
“What the president was noting is that the last person who was charged in this case ended up dead in a jail cell and the president wants justice to be served for the victims in this case and he prefers this to play out in a courtroom,” McEnany said on Fox News.
McEnany added: “This president is the president that banned Jeffrey Epstein from coming to Mar-a-Lago. This president was always on top of this, ahead of this, noting this, banning this man from his property long before this case was even being played out in the court of law.”
Trump said on Tuesday during a press conference that he wished Maxwell well in response to a question about whether she will use what she knows about other powerful men to get herself out of trouble.
“I don’t know, I haven’t really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly,” Trump 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, but I wish her well.”
The president also told reporters he doesn’t know if Prince Andrew is guilty of misconduct linked to Maxwell. “Whatever it is, I don’t know the situation with Prince Andrew, I just don’t know. I’m not aware of that,” Trump said.
Maxwell, 58, has denied any wrongdoing. She is expected to spend a year awaiting trial at the Brooklyn Detention Center, where she has been held since shortly after her July 2 arrest in New Hampshire.
Epstein was arrested for sex-trafficking by the same US Attorney’s Office last year — but committed suicide in his Lower Manhattan jail cell before he could face trial.
Trump condemned Epstein’s private Caribbean island as an “absolute cesspool” in a 2015 interview and implicated Andrew in misconduct there.
“Just ask Prince Andrew. He’ll tell you about it,” Trump said at the time.
The British royal denies underage rape allegations from Virginia Roberts, who says she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell.
Former President Bill Clinton also reportedly visited the island near Saint Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.
Prince Andrew is refusing to cooperate with prosecutors and withdrew from royal duties last year after claiming in a disastrous interview that Roberts was lying in her account because he could not sweat.
Trump told reporters last year that he had a falling out with Epstein long ago, but didn’t say why.
“I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him,” Trump told reporters. “He was a fixture of Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago, I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn’t a fan.”
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