During his coronavirus press briefing Tuesday, President Donald Trump wished "well” Jeffrey Epstein's ex-girlfriend, who’s been charged with helping sexually exploit girls.
A reporter asked Trump what he thought of Ghislaine Maxwell and the chances she would “turn in powerful men” like Prince Andrew, given that the president has criticized Bill Clinton’s behavior. Trump responded that he hasn’t been following her case and wished her well.
“I don’t know. I haven’t really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly,” Trump said. The president went on to say he’s met her “numerous times over the years” when he lived in Palm Beach, Florida.
“I wish her well, whatever it is,” the president said. “I don't know the situation with Prince Andrew. I just don't know. I'm not aware of it.”
Maxwell was arrested earlier this month and charged with helping Epstein sexually abuse girls in the 1990s. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York alleged that she and Epstein “exploited girls as young as 14” and that she “played a critical role in the grooming and abuse of minor victims.”
Maxwell, who had been in a relationship with Epstein in the mid-1990s, has denied the charges.
Tuesday’s press briefing was billed as the return of the coronavirus briefings. Trump did not speak long, but he advised people to wear masks when necessary and said young people should avoid “packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings.”
Trump also said the government is considering lowering to 70% the extended $600 unemployment insurance benefit, which is due to expire soon.
"The amount would be the same, but doing it in a little bit smaller initial amounts so that people are gonna want to go back to work as opposed to making so much money that they really don't have to," he said.
He also gave a grim outlook on the future of the pandemic, a rare instance for the president: “It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better. Something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is.”