Politics

Jeffrey Epstein Boasted That He Was Matchmaker for Donald and Melania Trump

Donald Trump has sought to distance himself from wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who recently committed suicide after being charged with sex trafficking of minors, playing down their past relationship.

Epstein, however, attempted to highlight his connections to the commander-in-chief — and the first lady. After Trump was elected president, Epstein started claiming that he was the one who introduced Trump to then-Slovenian model Melania Knauss, The New York Times reported.

But the first lady’s account of how she met Trump met doesn’t mention Epstein at all. She told Vanity Fair for a 2017 profile that she was at a party during Fashion Week 1998 at the Kit Kat Club in Times Square, thrown by Metropolitan Models co-owner Paolo Zampolli.

Melania told Vanity Fair that Trump approached her while his own date was in the bathroom and asked for her phone number. She then “proudly” recounted how she asked Trump for his instead.

Trump has never mentioned Epstein’s alleged involvement in their romance, either.

Zampolli also said that he introduced the couple in the book ” The Method to the Madness,” the New York Post reported, and called Epstein’s claim “B S.”

Donald Trump with his then-girlfriend, Melania Knauss, and Jeffrey Epstein with Ghislaine Maxwell at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., in February 2000. (Davidoff Studios Photography/Getty Images)

Epstein wouldn’t have been out of place that night during New York Fashion Week, since he had established contacts within the modeling industry by that point.

Epstein had also moved into his New York residence by 1998, and stories from his accusers detail his presence in the modeling industry, with one former model saying she’s been told he was “in charge of Victoria’s Secret.” Epstein had a close relationship with Les Wexner, the CEO of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company.

The New York Times also reported that Trump and Epstein once held an event by themselves with roughly two dozen women flown in for a “calendar girls” competition.

For a 2002 profile of Epstein in New York Magazine, Trump said the financier was a “terrific guy” and “a lot of fun to be with.” He noted that Epstein “likes beautiful women,” with many “on the younger side.”

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