White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday attempted to explain President Trump’s warm wishes for Ghislaine Maxwell — the British socialite accused of being an accomplice to the late sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s decades-long abuse of underage girls — during the Season 2 premiere of his reality TV-style coronavirus briefings.
Trump has come under fire even from House Republicans for wishing Maxwell well during his first press conference since April, which was billed as an update from the administration on the coronavirus pandemic. The President told reporters “I just wish her well, frankly” when asked whether he believes Maxwell will turn in “powerful men” after pleading not guilty to sex crime and perjury charges.
Prosecutors allege Maxwell helped Epstein in the mid-1990s recruit young girls in an operation that forced them into engaging in sexual acts. Maxwell’s trial is scheduled to begin in July 2021.
When pressed on Trump’s well wishes for Maxwell earlier this week during an interview on Fox News Thursday, McEnany attempted to explain the President’s remarks with a roundabout argument claiming that he wants “justice.”
“What the President was noting is that the last person who was charged in this case ended up dead in a jail cell,” McEnany said. “And the President wants justice to be served for the victims in this case and he prefers this to play out in a courtroom.”
Asked whether she has spoken to the President about his warm wishes for Maxwell, given how the public received it as a “strange answer,” McEnany claimed that she has. McEnany added that Trump had banned Epstein from coming to Mar-a-Lago.
“This President was always on top of this, ahead of this, noting this, banning this man from his property long before this case was even being played out in a court of law,” McEnany said.
The President and the first lady have been photographed with both Epstein and Maxwell in the past. Last year, Epstein died of suicide after being brought into federal custody pending a trial on federal sex trafficking charges.
Watch McEnany’s remarks below:
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tries to explain Trump's well wishes for Ghislaine Maxwell pic.twitter.com/lP7qb7ePnz
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 23, 2020