- The Washington Times
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer tried to tie President Trump to the growing scandal over accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, saying Tuesday that Mr. Trump must answer for his past praise of the billionaire financier.

Mr. Schumer also demanded Mr. Trump fire Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who as U.S. attorney in Miami more than a decade ago cut a deal freeing Mr. Epstein from the threat of federal prosecution for sex trafficking, instead letting him plead guilty to state charges and serve little more than a year in jail.

Mr. Schumer said a past statement by Mr. Trump saying Mr. Epstein appreciated beautiful young women is troubling and must be explained.

“The president needs to answer for his statements,” the New York Democrat said.

Mr. Epstein was charged in New York on Monday with one count of sex trafficking and another count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. Prosecutors said they had evidence that Mr. Epstein. recruited girls as young as 14, paid them hundreds of dollars for nude massages, then escalated the encounters to include sexual acts.

Girls were then asked to recruit other victims, creating what prosecutors called a “vast network of underage victims.”

Mr. Trump in 2002 was quoted in New York Magazine praising Mr. Epstein: “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. 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.”

Mr. Schumer said that comment, and reports that Mr. Epstein was a guest at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, demanded explanation.

There is no evidence or public allegation that Mr. Trump was involved with any of the activities Mr. Epstein is charged with. And Mr. Trump reportedly banned Mr. Epstein from Mar-a-Lago after hearing of a report of sexual assault.

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