Wednesday on PBS’s “NewsHour,” billionaire Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said “he’s dead” when asked about what lesson he learned from his previously admitted “mistake” of meeting with now-deceased convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Anchor Judy Woodruff said, “You had a number of meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, who — when you met him 10 years ago — he was convicted of soliciting prostitution from minors. What did you know about him when you were meeting with him, as you’ve said yourself, in the hopes of raising money?”
Gates said, “You know, I had dinners with him. I regret doing that. He had relationships with people he said would give to global health, which is an interest I have. Not nearly enough philanthropy goes in that direction. Those meetings were a mistake. They didn’t result in what he purported, and I cut them off. You know, that goes back a long time ago now. So there’s nothing new on that.”
Woodruff said, “It was reported that you continued to meet with him over several years and, in other words, a number of meetings. What did you do when you found out about his background?”
Gates said, “I said I regretted having those dinners, and there’s nothing, absolutely nothing new on that.”
Woodruff pressed, “Is there a lesson for you, for anyone else looking at this?”
Gates said, “Well, he’s dead, so. You know, in general, you always have to be careful. And you know, I’m very proud of what we’ve done, very proud of the work of the foundation. That’s what I get up every day and focus on.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN