Although President Donald Trump recently claimed that he "was not a fan" of Jeffrey Epstein, video footage newly resurfaced by NBC News reveals he partied with the billionaire financier and registered sex offender in November of 1992.
“The footage shows two wealthy men laughing and pointing as they appear to discuss young women dancing at a party,” NBC News reports. “Today, one of the men is president of the United States. The other is in federal lockup awaiting a bail decision as he fights sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.”
The archival footage shows the future president partying at Mar-a-Lago, where he is surrounded by NFL cheerleaders from the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins teams. On the tape, Trump is seen joking with Epstein, who at one point doubles over in laughter. The future president appears to point to one of the women at the party as he tells Epstein, "Look at her back there — she’s hot."
As loud music pulses, Trump can also be seen grabbing what appears to be two different women around the waist, one of whom he claps on the behind. The footage was captured for “A Closer Look,” Faith Daniels’ short-lived NBC talk show, who profiled Trump following his well-publicized divorce from his first wife, Ivana.
Epstein would not plead guilty to state prostitution charges for more than a decade. "I had a falling out with him a long time ago,” Trump said of the sex offender last week in the Oval Office. “I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years."
He later added, "I was not a fan of his — that I can tell you."
The president has also attempted to dismiss his connection to Epstein by claiming the two man ran in the same social circles as a result of proximity. "He was a fixture in Palm Beach,” Trump insisted. “I knew him like everyone in Palm Beach knew him.”
However, Trump sang a different tune a decade after footage shows him partying with Epstein, telling New York magazine in 2002 that the sex offender was a "terrific guy,” who was "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,” the future president said. “No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."
Trump's relationship with Epstein came under renewed scrutiny after it was revealed that his former Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta cut a sweetheart deal with the billionaire. Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to two state prostitution charges and serve just 13 months in county jail, with the further privilege of leaving to work from his office six days out of the week. Earlier this month, Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges involving dozens of underage girls.
Jesse Kornbluth, who was a friend of Epstein's until the billionaire hit on his wife, wrote in an article for Salon that the sex offender’s social circle was willfully oblivious to his alleged depredations, because he was both charming and wealthy:
Why was Epstein so easily rehabilitated? He was smart. Attractive. Rich. And that is a potent combination. As David Patrick Columbia, editor of New York Social Diary, explained it for the Times: “A jail sentence doesn't matter anymore. The only thing that gets you shunned in New York society is poverty.”
Watch the vídeo from NBC’s archives below: