Former President Bill Clinton’s spokesman said Monday that Clinton “knows nothing” about Jeffrey Epstein’s “terrible crimes,” after the multi-millionaire was accused by federal prosecutors of running a sex trafficking ring where he paid girls as young as 14 to have sex with him.
“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York,” Clinton’s spokesman, Angel Ureña, said in a statement posted to Twitter.
Ureña went on to give what he said was a summary of Clinton’s experiences with Epstein.
“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 continues, noting staff, supporters of the foundation and Clinton’s Secret Service detail traveled with the former President.
“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,” the statement reads.
“He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade,” the statement adds, “and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”
Federal prosecutors in New York unsealed a criminal indictment Monday charging Epstein with operating a sex trafficking ring and sexually abusing dozens of underage girls. He is charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, and could face up to 45 years in prison.
Epstein pleaded not guilty on Monday to the charges.
According to the indictment, Epstein ran a trafficking ring between 2002 and 2005 in which he paid hundreds of dollars in cash to girls as young as 14 to have sex with him at his residence in New York and his estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein allegedly worked with employees and associates to lure the girls to his residences and paid some of his victims to recruit other girls for him to abuse, the indictment stated.
He was arrested Saturday night in New Jersey aboard his private jet.
In November, the Miami Herald reported Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who was at the time the US attorney in Florida, brokered a deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys, where he pleaded to two state prostitution charges. Epstein ultimately served only 13 months and avoided a federal trial in 2008. Epstein registered as a sex offender and paid restitution to the victims identified by the FBI.
The Herald report notes Epstein’s connections to powerful figures, including Clinton, President Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
CNN’s Erica Orden contributed to this report.