- The Washington Times
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

President Trump hasn’t been in contact with financier Jeffrey Epstein in at least a decade, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday.

“I talked to the president this morning. He hasn’t talked or had contact with Epstein in years and years and years, over a decade at least,” she told reporters in front of the White House.

Federal prosecutors in New York on Monday charged Mr. Epstein with one count of sex trafficking and another count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. They say Mr. Epstein recruited girls as young as 14, paying dozens for them for nude massages.

He also paid his victims to recruit other victims creating a web of underage victims, prosecutors alleged.

Mrs. Conway said the president viewed the charges as “disgusting.”

“[Mr. Trump], like everyone else, sees the charges, the description of these charges against Epstein as completely unconscionable and obviously criminal, disgusting,” she said.

The president has not commented publicly about the Epstein case since the charges were unsealed. A 2002 quote in which Mr. Trump described Mr. Epstein as “a terrific guy” who likes women “on the younger side,” has come under scrutiny since the billionaire financier’s arrest over the weekend.

Mr. Trump said he didn’t know the details of the Epstein case when asked about it on Sunday as he departed his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course.

Both Mr. Trump and former President Bill Clinton have flown aboard Mr. Epstein’s private jet, later dubbed the “Lolita Express.” They are among several important figures who have had ties to Mr. Epstein over the years.

A spokesperson for Mr. Clinton released a statement Monday saying he “knows nothing” about Mr. Epstein’s alleged crimes.

While speaking with reporters Tuesday, Mrs. Conway dodged questions about whether Mr. Trump still has confidence in Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who helped secure a sweetheart plea agreement for Mr. Epstein in 2008.

While serving at that time as the U.S. attorney in Miami, Mr. Acosta oversaw a deal that allowed Mr. Epstein to avoid life in prison by pleading to state prostitution services and serving 13 months in a county facility.

Since the charges against Mr. Epstein were unsealed Monday, calls for Mr. Acosta to step down have grown, especially among Democrats.

Mrs. Conway said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, and others were trying to gin up controversy by tying a member of the administration to Mr. Epstein’s crimes.

“It’s classic [Pelosi] and her Democratic Party to not focus on the perpetrator at hand and instead to focus on a member of the Trump administration,” she said. “They’re so obsessed with the president that they immediately go to Alex Acosta.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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