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Donald Trump says 'just ask Prince Andrew' when probed about Epstein’s 'paedophile island'

The US President described the infamous Caribbean island as a “cesspool” and told reporters to ask the Duke of York, claiming “he’ll tell you about it”. It came as the outspoken billionaire linked the Epstein scandal to his political rival Bill Clinton before he entered the 2016 US presidential race. Andrew acknowledges he visited Epstein on his privately-owned Little Saint James island but says he never witnessed anything untoward and never suspected Epstein of any crimes.

Trump – who also socialised with Epstein in the years before the late financier was disgraced and jailed for child sex crimes – spoke at a CPAC conservative gathering.

In a Q&A session with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump was asked for his view on Bill Clinton and said: “Nice guy, got a lot of problems coming up in my opinion with the famous island with Jeffrey Epstein.”

Later, Trump was asked to expand on this in an interview with Bloomberg and brought up Prince Andrew.

He said: “That island was really a cesspool, there’s no question about it. 

“Just ask Prince Andrew, he’ll tell you about it. The island was an absolute cesspool.”

Donald Trump and Prince Andrew

Donald Trump says ‘just ask Prince Andrew’ when probed about Epstein’s ‘paedophile island’ (Image: GETTY/BLOOMBERG)

Donald and Melania Trump with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

Donald and Melania Trump with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell (Image: GETTY)

Asked whether the issue would impact Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Trump said “it could be a political problem”.    

At the time, Epstein was already a known paedophile because of his 2008 conviction in Florida and was embroiled in a lawsuit with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the woman who alleges she had sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions. 

Andrew has denied any wrongdoing and said he does not recall ever meeting Ms Roberts.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell’s secret meeting at Palace

Melania Trump, Prince Andrew, Gwendolyn Beck and Jeffrey Epstein

Melania Trump, Prince Andrew, Gwendolyn Beck and Jeffrey Epstein (Image: GETTY)

Buckingham Palace issued a statement that read: “It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts.

 “Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”

Before Epstein’s conviction, he had a vast network of wealthy and powerful friends including Andrew, Trump and the Clintons. 

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Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell (Image: GETTY)

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew (Image: GETTY)

Epstein bought Little St James island – a spot in the US Virgin Islands – for $7.95million (£6.3million) in 1998. It was later dubbed “paedophile island”.

The Virgin Islands sued Epstein’s estate earlier this year, claiming the late sex offender raped and trafficked dozens of women and young girls there.

The complaint alleges that Epstein’s abuse spanned from 2001 to 2018 and targeted girls who appeared to be as young as 11 or 12. 

The lawsuit seeks civil penalties plus some assets from Epstein’s estimated $577.7million (£459.7million) estate, including the forfeiture of his two private islands, Little St James and Great St James.

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton also socialised with Epstein (Image: GETTY)

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to a Florida state prostitution charge, and completed a 13-month jail sentence.

The scandal resurfaced in 2019 when the financier was arrested on new child sex charges in New York and then killed himself in jail. 

Earlier this month, Epstein’s partner Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested and charged with procuring underage girls for him to abuse. 

Maxwell denies wrongdoing, but is due to stay in custody until a trial next year after she was denied bail by a federal judge.

Andrew, who is being treated as a witness by US prosecutors, is said to be “bewildered” by claims from the FBI that he is not cooperating.

His legal team claim they have reached out “at least three times”.

Andrew’s BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis last November was widely seen as a disaster and led to his resignation from public life just days later. 

In a subsequent statement he said he “regretted my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein” and “deeply sympathised with everyone who has been affected”. 

He added: “Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”



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