And … so? NBC News thinks it has uncovered video evidence that proves a relationship between Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein, but it might only add to the evidence of their own desperation. They found an old clip of Trump welcoming Epstein to Mar-a-Lago in 1992 from an episode of the tabloid show A Closer Look, featuring it on the Today show and in a news bulletin headlined “Tape shows Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein discussing women at 1992 party.”
And … so?
Later in the footage, Trump is seen talking to Epstein and another man while they watch the women on the dance floor. Trump noted the presence of an NBC camera to Epstein, and both point out women, while Trump occasionally claps and dances to the beat.
Though exactly what they say is difficult to understand, Trump is seen gesturing to a woman and appears to say to Epstein, “Look at her, back there. … She’s hot.” Epstein reacted with a smile and nod.
Trump then said something else into Epstein’s ear that caused Epstein to double over with laughter.
But the president says now that he never liked Epstein.
Oooh, they’ve got him now … except that’s not actually what Trump has said about Epstein. He said that he knew Epstein from the Palm Beach scene and that they had a “falling out” fifteen years ago. The falling out has been already reported, and it involved Epstein’s apparent attempt to prey on teenagers at Mar-a-Lago about a decade after this party clip. Trump never claimed not to have been in the same room as Epstein or never to have talked with him at all, and we already knew that Epstein had been to Mar-a-Lago because Trump kicked him out in 2002. And having a “falling out” is at least a tacit acknowledgment of having at least a pleasant acquaintance with a person before that event.
Trump’s party wasn’t news when A Closer Look covered it, but at least they knew that they were in the cheesy, celebrity-obsessed media industry. NBC treats this like it’s actual news, and that it actually proves something. They report on a conversation they can’t make out by transcribing what Trump “appears to say,” and the conversation isn’t worth transcribing in the first place. Two single men commenting on attractive women at a party? Telling a joke that makes the other laugh? Heaven forfend! It might be news to NBC, but two single men don’t even have to be acquaintances to have a conversation like that at a party, especially when one of them is the host.
News organizations have been trying like mad to tie Trump to Epstein, but this lame attempt is an embarrassment for NBC. The most damage they do to Trump comes from the shots of him dancing, which are … hilarious. (That’s also not unusual for single men at parties.) Are they trying at all to find evidence of Bill Clinton at one of Epstein’s parties on Pedophile Island? That kind of party appearance would actually mean something.
The most interesting part of the NBC report, however, has nothing to do with Donald Trump but with Epstein’s false passport. His defense attorneys have an explanation for that, and … it’s not bad, although perhaps not convincing:
Attorneys for financier Jeffrey Epstein say he obtained a foreign passport under an alias in the 1980s to defend himself from potential kidnappers while traveling in the Middle East.
Epstein’s defense team filed court papers Tuesday saying Epstein worried about the perils he faced traveling there as “an affluent member of the Jewish faith.”
They say the passport expired more than 30 years ago and that prosecutors offered no evidence that Epstein ever used it.
It’s been less of a problem in recent decades, but in the 1970s and 1980s, abduction was no joke, especially for Jewish travelers. However, it still prompts the question as to why Epstein still has the long-expired passport, and why it was locked away in a safe rather than destroyed decades ago. Does Epstein still travel in ways that leave him vulnerable to abduction, or does he have his own jets and his own secure means of ground transportation? Judge Richard Berman might have trouble buying that story, but then again, he already has lots of reasons to deny Epstein bail and Epstein’s attorneys have nothing to lose with a little spin at this point.