President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he had a “falling out” with accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein approximately 15 years ago, but declined to offer details of why the relationship ended.
A reporter asked the president if he still believes Epstein is a “terrific guy,” referencing comments Trump made about the billionaire in 2002.
“Well, I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. I mean, people in Palm Beach knew him. He was a fixture in Palm Beach,” the president replied. “I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years. I was not a fan.”
“I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you,” he declared.
According to court documents filed by Bradley Edwards, a lawyer who represented several of Epstein’s accusers, Trump banned Epstein from his Mar-a-Lago resort “because Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club.” Neither Trump nor Mar-a-Lago have confirmed a ban. (RELATED: Court Documents: Trump Banned Epstein From Mar-A-Lago)
The president also defended Department of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who notoriously struck a sweetheart deal with Epstein when he was facing similar accusations of sexual abuse in 2008. Epstein pleaded guilty to solicitation of an underage prostitute at the time in exchange for serving a 13-month sentence and registering as a sex offender.
“For two and a half years he’s just been an excellent secretary of labor. He’s just done a fantastic job,” Trump said of Acosta. “I do hear that there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him.”
“The rest of it we’ll have to look at, we’ll have to look at it very carefully,” he continued.