Flashback: Hillary Campaign Monitored News About Jeffrey Epstein’s Associations with Bill Clinton

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech after being defeated by Republican President-elect Donald Trump, as former President Bill Clinton looks on in New York on November 9, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images

Hacked emails previously published by WikiLeaks reveal that members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign staff routinely monitored the news media for any association between Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein, demonstrating the Clinton campaign’s fears over the implications of its exposure. 

A separate cache of emails show Democratic National Committee staff internally circulating stories and social media postings tying Epstein to Clinton.

Emails hacked from the Gmail account of John Podesta, chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, show that campaign staff forwarded news articles associating Epstein with Bill Clinton.

One email sent to Podesta from Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, contained a January 2015 BuzzFeed article titled, “Plenty Of Innuendo, But No Hard Evidence Of New Clinton Sex Scandal,” with the subtitle reading, “Much-discussed documents in Jeffrey Epstein affair don’t live up to the hype.”

“Good,” Flournoy replied.

A February 5, 2015 email to campaign staff titled “HRC Clips” singled out a column published in The Times-Picayune, a local New Orleans limited publication.

The piece tied Clinton to Epstein, relating:

There’s a story going around the tabloids and the trashier parts of the mainstream media that could spell trouble for the presumed Democratic frontrunner in 2016. It concerns a certain (as he would be listed on Louisiana ballots) William “Bill” Clinton.

The story involves Clinton palling around with the very shady (and very rich) Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, a convicted pedophile who would later donate somewhere between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Presidential Library, reportedly flew with Clinton and a couple of babes to visit the Sultan of Brunei back in 2002.

Numerous other news clips about Epstein and Clinton were also circulated among campaign staff, the emails show.

One email titled “2016 GOP HIT on HRC” was widely circulated among Clinton’s campaign staff and DNC officials.  The missive contained the text of a Fox News article titled, “Flight logs show Bill Clinton flew on sex offender’s jet much more than previously known.”

Numerous emails from various campaign and DNC staff were tweets from high profile Republicans promoting the Fox News article, including tweets on the Epstein and Clinton story sent out by Trump spokesman Sean Spicer, as well as Republican National Committee staffer and future White House spokesperson Raj Shah.

Hillary’s campaign staff was well justified in their concerns over the publication of any associations between Epstein and Bill Clinton, as the two had long maintained ties, with Epstein being a prominent donor to both of Clinton’s White House bids.

On Thursday, a 2011 deposition given by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein’s most high-profile victims, was unsealed by a federal court judge. 

In it, Giuffre claims that Clinton was a guest at Epstein’s private estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands shortly after leaving the White House. Giuffre, who was 17-years-old at the time of the alleged visit, claims that Clinton stayed at the estate with “two young girls” from New York.

“I remember asking Jeffrey what’s Bill Clinton doing here kind of thing, and he laughed it off and said, ‘Well he owes me a favor,’” Giuffre told lawyers.

“He never told me what favors they were,” she added. “I never knew. I didn’t know if he was serious. It was just a joke… He told me a long time ago that everyone owes him favors. They’re all in each other’s pockets.”

Clinton’s appearance stood out, according to Giuffre, since Epstein’s Caribbean estate was known as a locale where “orgies were a constant thing that took place.”

In a statement to Newsweek on Friday, Angel Ureña, a spokesperson for Clinton, denied the allegation, saying Clinton has “never been to Little St. James Island,” a claim that had previously been made by the Clinton representatives in 2019.

In July 2019, the controversial financier pleaded not guilty to sex-trafficking charges in Manhattan federal court. In the case, Epstein allegedly “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes” in New York, Palm Beach, and other locations. The indictment also charged that Epstein paid some of his alleged victims to recruit more underage girls. Epstein was denied bail in the case and on August 10th was found dead in his federal jail cell at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC).

Following Epstein’s indictment, Ureña tweeted a similar denial that said, “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.”

Breitbart News previously listed six major issues with Clinton’s full statement on Epstein in 2019, which has taken on new relevance with Clinton doubling down on his claim.

1 – Clinton’s statement claimed a “total of four trips” on Epstein’s private jet, amid widespread reports of many more trips.

One portion of Clinton’s statement, via his spokesperson, reads:

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 failed to mention documentation reportedly evidencing many more trips with Epstein on the financier’s airplane.

Fox News previously reported flight records from 2001 to 2003 that show Clinton took at least 26 trips aboard Epstein’s jet, dubbed the “Lolita Express.”

Newsweek reported on a Gawker story that exposed flight logs showing numerous private airplane trips that Clinton allegedly took with Epstein. One flight reportedly included a softcore porn actress while other trips were allegedly shared with women listed on flight manifests without their full names.

The Newsweek report stated:

In 2015, Gawker released the flight logbooks for Epstein’s Gulfstream and the Lolita Express 727. Bill Clinton is among the prominent people listed in the flight logs, having taken several trips on the Lolita Express with a softcore porn actress listed under “massages” in Epstein’s address book, also published by Gawker. Clinton shared eleven flights aboard the Lolita Express with Maxwell and Epstein’s former assistant, Sarah Kellen, who has been accused in court filings of recruiting young girls on Epstein’s behalf. On multiple flights, additional women, listed in the flight logs by their first name or the simple descriptor “female,” joined Clinton aboard Epstein’s plane.

2 – Clinton’s statement leaves out that the former president was reportedly on the airplane with Epstein himself.

The statement that “in 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane” seems to imply that Clinton utilized the airplane itself, but conspicuously fails to mention whether Epstein was on board. According to numerous reports, Clinton was a frequent flyer on the pervert’s private airplane, traveling with Epstein and unidentified women on numerous occasions.

Epstein’s fleet reportedly included a Boeing 727-200 passenger jet that normally seats nearly 200, but was modified for private use. Fox News reported Epstein’s plane was “outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.”

3 – Clinton’s statement claims that his Secret Service detail was present “on every leg of every trip” with Epstein. Yet numerous reports allege that Clinton ditched his assigned Secret Service agents on several flights.

Clinton’s office’s statement reads:

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. Staff, supporters of the Foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip.

Fox News reported that records show Clinton “apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights,” since no agent names appeared on the manifest.

Investigative journalist Conchita Sarnoff, executive director of Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking, stated, “I know from the pilot logs and these are pilot logs that you know were written by different pilots and at different times that Clinton went, he was a guest of Epstein’s 27 times.” She added that “many of those times Clinton had his Secret Service with him and many times he did not.”

4 – Clinton’s statement does not mention that some of the trips reportedly encompassed multiple legs with several other possible flights.

Despite Clinton’s statement claiming that he only took four flights on Epstein’s plane, the Asia trip alone, which flight records show occurred between May 22 and May 25, 2002, was reportedly a five-leg trip.

According to Fox News, flight records show Clinton flying to such destinations as “Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, China, Brunei, London, New York, the Azores, Belgium, Norway, Russia and Africa.”

5 – Clinton denies traveling to Epstein’s so-called Orgy Island. One Epstein accuser disputes that claim.

Clinton’s statement says the ex-president has “never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”

Epstein accuser Giuffre claimed in the recently unsealed affidavit that she saw Clinton on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her claim has not been corroborated.

6 – Clinton has a long history of credibility issues regarding claims about his mistreatment of women.

Clinton famously claimed of Monica Lewinsky, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” but was later impeached by the House of Representatives for lying under oath about this relationship with the White House intern. He also denied credible sexual assault accusations by Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey, among others.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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