Trump ‘wishes Ghislaine Maxwell well’
US President Donald Trump held his first media briefing on the coronavirus in almost three months today, but it was briefly derailed by a left-field question about a completely unrelated subject - accused child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.
Maxwell, who allegedly helped Jeffrey Epstein procure and sexually abuse underage girls, is currently in jail in New York. She has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges.
Towards the end of Mr Trump's briefing, which until that point had focused solely on the pandemic, a reporter asked him to speculate on whether Maxwell would reveal the names of powerful men involved in the sex ring in return for a deal from prosecutors.
"Ghislaine Maxwell is in prison, and a lot of people want to know if she's going to turn in powerful people. I know you've talked in the past about Prince Andrew, and you've criticised Bill Clinton's behaviour. I'm wondering, do you feel that she's going to turn in powerful men? How do you see that working out?" the reporter asked.
"I don't know, I haven't really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly," Mr Trump replied.
"I have met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach. And I guess they (Maxwell and Epstein) lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well, whatever it is.
"I don't know the situation with Prince Andrew. I'm just not aware of it."
“I just wish her well,” Trump says of Ghislaine Maxwell, who was arrested earlier this month and charged with facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sexual exploitation and abuse of minor girls.— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) July 21, 2020
Maxwell was arrested and charged earlier this month.
Prosecutors accused her of "conspiring with Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse minors", alleging she both "facilitated" and "participated in" his crimes.
"Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her, and then delivered them into the trap that she and Jeffrey Epstein had set," said the Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss.
"She pretended to be a woman they could trust. All the while, she was setting them up to be abused sexually by Epstein and, in some cases, Maxwell herself."
"The heinous crimes these charges allege are, and always will be abhorrent for the lasting trauma they inflict on victims," added New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.
More to come.
Originally published as Trump 'wishes Ghislaine Maxwell well'
Trump says he wishes Ghislaine Maxwell, charged with sex trafficking minor girls, well.— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) July 21, 2020
Trump says of Ghislane Maxwell: "I wish her well"— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) July 21, 2020