Bill Clinton Says He Didn't Know About Jeffrey Epstein's Alleged Sex Trafficking Crimes

Former President Bill Clinton issued a statement Monday evening on the arrest of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, claiming he knew nothing of the "terrible crimes" that led to Epstein's arrest Saturday with charges of sex trafficking multiple minors in Florida and New York.

Epstein pleaded not guilty Monday in a federal court to charges of sex trafficking. Fox News over the weekend reported that Clinton traveled in Epstein's private jet called "Lolita Express" 26 times. In Clinton's statement, he claimed he only traveled four times on Epstein's jet.

"In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein's airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation," the statement read. "Staff, supporters of the foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip. He had one meeting with Epstein in his Harlem office in 2002, and around the same time made one brief visit to Epstein's New York apartment with a staff member and his security detail. He's not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and he has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein's ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida."

Epstein, a hedge fund manager, allegedly sexually assaulted more than 30 underage girls at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, from 1999 to 2006. Some of the victims were reportedly taken to his ranch in New Mexico, some to Little St. James Island in the Caribbean and some to his home in New York City.

Investigators said Epstein used his victims in a pyramid-like scheme, where they underage girls recruited others to join the operation.

Prosecutors wrote that the girls all very similarly described a massage room at the New York City mansion where they were told to undress before giving Epstein a massage, according to Fox News.

"The victims, who were as young as 14 years of age, were told by Epstein or other individuals to partially or fully undress before beginning the 'massage,'" prosecutors said. "During the encounter, Epstein would escalate the nature and scope of physical contact with his victims to include, among other things, sex acts such as groping and direct and indirect contact with the victim's genitals."

Epstein became a registered sex offender after he made a plea bargain in 2008 for two state prostitution charges in Florida. Epstein received a sentence of 13 months in the Palm Beach County Jail and financial settlements with his victims, and it helped him avoid any federal charges at the time.

The federal prosecutor in that case was Alexander Acosta, who is now President Donald Trump's Labor Secretary. A federal judge in February ruled that Acosta withheld information from the plea deal from the victims.

Trump reportedly had close ties with Epstein in the past, calling him a "terrific guy" who "enjoys his social life" in a 2002 interview with New York magazine.

"I've known Jeff for fifteen years," Trump said in 2002. "Terrific guy. 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."

President Bill Clinton
Former President of the United States Bill Clinton on Stage during "An Evening With The Clintons" at Beacon Theatre on April 11, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images