Donald Trump grew concerned with the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell at the end of his presidential term, fearing she might somehow embroil him in the scandal related to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, a new book by Michael Wolff claims.
"Has she said anything about me? Is she going to talk? Will she roll on anybody?", Wolff claims Trump said at the time.
Wolff's book, "Landslide", describing the last months of the Trump administration, claims that POTUS tried to downplay his connection to Epstein, whom he knew from well before his presidency and whom he called a "terrific guy" back in 2002.
"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", Trump described him at the time, later stressing that he still "was not a fan" of the guy.
Trump's interest in Maxwell's case emerged at the very end of his presidency, just as POTUS was assembling the last list of presidential pardons, the book claims. The Republican president considered including Maxwell, who pleaded not guilty to charges of helping Epstein run his sex trafficking ring, on the list, Wolff claims. In the end, however, she didn't receive a pardon.
Epstein, a financier, who was arrested in 2019 on charges of organising the sex trafficking of underage girls, was on good terms with many prominent people, politicians, and businessmen, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former POTUS Bill Clinton, then-real estate mogul Donald Trump, and British royal Prince Andrew. All of them denied using Epstein's sex trafficking services.
Still, some were unable to escape flak from the Epstein scandal, with Prince Andrew suffering damage to his public image after the emergence of a photo with one of Epstein's purported victims, and ties to the investor reportedly costing Bill Gates his marriage.
Epstein, however, did not survive to face his accusers, taking his own life in prison. His death was tinged by dubious circumstances, such as being recently taken off suicide watch, not being monitored by the guards as often as he was supposed to, and camera recordings of his cell entrance being corrupted. These inconsistencies and the fact that Epstein had a lot of influential friends led to the emergence of a conspiracy theory saying he was in fact assassinated to be silenced and not testify against his clients. The coroners studying his body ruled that he died by suicide and that there was no foul play.