Friday, September 04, 2015

What will happen when they ask Donald Trump about his link to the Epstein scandal?

Conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt asked Donald Trump what should have been an easy question about Iran's Al Quds force. Trump mis-heard, and said that "the Kurds" were not being "utilized properly or used properly." (Interesting distinction, that.) Instead of apologizing for his error, Trump exploded at Hewitt, calling him a "third-rate radio announcer.”

I think that this hair-trigger response gives us an idea as to what kind of president Trump would be. Watch out, Bill Maher! Insult this guy's hair and he might launch a nuclear strike on your neighborhood.

Now I'm wondering how Trump would react if someone asked him a truly difficult question. Take, for example, his friendship with convicted pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. The relationship was discussed in this podcast, cited in a previous post.

Oddly enough, Trump himself has tried to imply (without citing any evidence) that Bill Clinton is somehow involved with Epstein's sexual shennanigans: See here.

In an earlier post, we noted that the NY Post did the same thing, relying upon the testimony of Virginia Roberts, one of the women who was raped by Epstein when she was underaged. (Roberts is now suing the U.S. government because Epstein's lenient deal was kept secret from his victims.) The Post -- like other right-wing sources -- has granted Roberts "temporary credibility," but only to the extent that her words can be used against Clinton. When she speaks against Epstein or Alan Dershowitz, her credibility suddenly disappears. She is Schroedinger's witness.

Here is the truth: Although she has claimed that Dershowitz and Prince Andrew had improper relations with her, Virginia Roberts has made no claim against Bill Clinton. None.

I know that a lot of people -- including many of my readers -- would like to think otherwise, but her statement is clear. Yes, she says that she was used to blackmail important people; she does not say that Clinton was one of them. If Epstein had hoped to use her as bait, the former president did not take it.

Epstein flew Clinton, Chris Rock and Kevin Spacey to Africa for an AIDS conference. Despite the oodles of speculation and fulmination and pseudo-investigation, the preceding sentence is IT. That's all we have on the much-ballyhooed Clinton-Epstein link; everything else is insinuation.

(It should be noted that Epstein has also tried to ingratiate himself with Stephen Hawking. It should be further noted that Clinton runs a charity and thus must ingratiate himself with all sorts of well-heeled folks who hope to buy a little respectability. The French have a saying: "Behind every great fortune is a crime." If that sentiment is valid, then every charity must flatter the criminal class.)

So what prompted Trump to speak of Clinton and "that island"? To the best of my knowledge, no published article links Clinton to Epstein's island. More to the point, I can't help but wonder how Trump knows about the things that Epstein got up to on "that island." Did Trump visit the place?

Maybe The Donald accidentally blurted out more than he intended.

Donald Trump was Epstein's friend, although he would prefer for you to think otherwise...
When the story broke, Trump’s spokesman told Gawker, “Mr. Trump only knew Mr. Epstein as Mr. Trump owns the hottest and most luxurious club in Palm Beach, and Mr. Epstein would go there on occasion.” With that, the media backed off the story and forgot about the Trump connection.
That disingenuous statement does not cover the length and breadth of the Trump-Epstein connection. Before the Virginia Roberts scandal became public, New York Magazine published the following:
Epstein likes to tell people that he's a loner, a man who's never touched alcohol or drugs, and one whose nightlife is far from energetic. And yet if you talk to Donald Trump, a different Epstein emerges. "I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,'' Trump booms from a speakerphone. "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. No doubt about it -- Jeffrey enjoys his social life."
Isn't it cute? Trump used to brag about his long friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, fun guy and lover of beautiful women. Now Trump claims that he had little or nothing to do with the guy.

(Trump's revisionism reminds me of Alan Dershowitz, who doesn't want you to know that he and Epstein were once so close that Epstein was the only non-family member allowed to get a look at Dershowitz' manuscripts.)

The fact that Trump has told two very different stories about his relationship with Epstein is highly intriguing. Moreover, Trump's first statement suggests that he and Epstein may have womanized together (if I may be allowed that old-fashioned and somewhat distasteful verb).

That said, let's be clear about one point: I do not think that Donald Trump has ever shared Epstein's penchant for the underaged. Everyone knows that Trump likes women with curves, while Epstein prefers the young-and-boyish type.

If Donald Trump blew his top at Hugh Hewitt for asking about Iran, how will Trump respond if -- when -- someone prods him about his fifteen-year friendship with the world's richest pedophile?


Dojo Rat said...

On a less-than-national scale, I have some questions about Courtney Love being on those Epstein flights, and some other snippets of info discussed on the podcast...

Stephen Morgan said...

The world's richest convicted paedophile, maybe.

Does it still count as womanising if they're underage? Girlificating?

What is wrong with the term womanising?

Joseph Cannon said...

Dojo, I thought that aspect of the podcast was unfair and kind of ridiculous. Look, being a classical music aficionado, I can't claim to know much about this Courtney Love person. I understand that she was accused (probably unfairly) of having something to do with the death of her drug-addled paramour, who was allegedly a musician of some kind, although I'm sure that the sounds he emitted bore no resemblance to anything I would call music. Also, she was in the Larry Flynt movie, which I liked. She was quite good. I see no reason to go picking through the childhoods of every famous person in order to search out something that one can use as paranoia-fodder.

Joseph Cannon said...

Stephen: I don't think that the more stringent feminists ever cared for the term "womanizing." When a female sleeps around a lot, they don't call it "manizing." So there's a certain unfairness built in to the terminology.

Are there unconvicted pedophiles wealthier than Epstein? Interesting question. Many sources say that he's a billionaire several times over, but Forbes argues that he is not a billionaire at all; they've never put him on the 400 list. It's fair to presume that at least one person who IS on that list is guilty of horrifying sexual habits, but I don't think it fair to presume (as some do) that every wealthy person is a freak or a fetishist.

Stephen Morgan said...

The thing is, womanising isn't sleeping around, it is specifically going after women. Womanising is the act of seduction, rather than of promiscuous sex. And you can't womanise a woman. A woman is already a woman. A womaniser is womanising himself, in that he is turning his attention entirely towards women. Like Judaisers, those Christians who follow Old Testament laws. A womaniser is no more a misogynist than a Judaiser is an anti-semite because there's no such thing as a Jesusiser.

The prevalence amongst the wealthy global elites of former KGB oligarchs and Arab princelings doesn't bode well for their sexual mores. Behind every fortune is a great crime. But not all crimes involve raping kids.

Anonymous said...

When are journalists gonna start asking Trump about his mafia connections?

P.S. I still think Jeb is gonna get the nomination. We'll see if the muckrakers get into his Iran-contra role, which was pivotal but still unexplored.

notjonathon said...

On the younger side? Now that was a sly reference.