By Aaron Klein
NEW YORK — Hacked emails previously published by WikiLeaks show members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign staff routinely monitored the news media for associations between Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein.
A separate cache of emails show Democratic National Committee staff internally circulating stories and social media postings tying Epstein to Clinton.
Emails captured during the hack of the Gmail account of John Podesta, chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, show campaign staff forwarding 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.” The subtitle was, “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 small Times-Picayune newspaper, 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.
News clips about Epstein and Bill Clinton from numerous other days 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 articletitled, “Flight logs show Bill Clinton flew on sex offender’s jet much more than previously known.”
Numerous emails from various campaign and DNC staff forwarded 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 and Republican National Committee staffer and future White House Spokesperson Raj Shah.
Bill Clinton has long maintained an association with Epstein. Last week, the former president’s office issued a statement claiming that he “knows nothing” about Epstein’s alleged crimes involving sex trafficking and minors.
The statement in question, tweeted by Clinton’s press secretary Angel Ureña, says: “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.”
This after the controversial financier pleaded not guilty last week 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 charges that Epstein paid some of his alleged victims to recruit more underage girls. Today, Epstein was denied bail in the case and is set to remain in jail pending the trial.
Last week, this reporter documented a list of six major problems with Clinton’s full statement on Epstein.
Below, in no particular order, is that list again.
1 – Clinton’s statement claims 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 show that from 2001 to 2003 Clinton took at least 26 trips aboard Epstein’s jet, dubbed the “Lolita Express.”
Newsweek reported on a previous Gawker story exposing 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.
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 took 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, acting as a pimp 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 onboard. According to numerous reports, Clinton was a frequent flyer on the pervert’s private airplane, traveling with Epstein and unidentified women numerous times.
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 some flights.
His 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 records show Clinton “apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights,” since no agents 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.
Once again, the statement about the airplane trips 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 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 Virginia Roberts Giuffre claimed in an 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 from Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey, among others.