Decades before he became president, real estate tycoon Donald Trump invited Jeffrey Epstein, the 66-year-old financier indicted in a massive sex trafficking scandal this week, to an insiders-only party at his Mar-a-Lago club in 1992 — even though he was warned against it.
But the party was more than just a get-together between the two rich guys. According to a New York Times interview with the party’s organizer, the only other attendees flying in to Palm Beach that night were 28 women.
George Houraney, who ran American Dream Enterprise, recalls organizing the event as part of a “calendar girl” competition for Trump.
He was shocked when he learned the truth about the guest list of a multitude of young women. “I said, ‘Donald, this is supposed to be a party with VIPs. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein?’”
But Trump refused any caution against inviting Epstein to the bash at Palm Beach. “I said, ‘Look, Donald, I know Jeff really well, I can’t have him going after younger girls,’” he told him. Then “[Trump] said, ‘Look I’m putting my name on this. I wouldn’t put my name on it and have a scandal.’”
However, the two businessmen, whose work and social lives have crossed over for years, apparently had a falling out over a failed business opportunity, though the details remain unclear.
The president even tried to downgrade his ties to the accused pedophile on Tuesday when he said he knew Epstein like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. Trump said, “I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.”
But the president used to be a big fan of Epstein.
Trump talked about how much he enjoyed Epstein’s company to New York Magazine in 2002, “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” he said. “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.”
And finally, “No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
There are even pictures of the two smiling together at the same resort in Palm Beach, 5 years after the party.
During the 2016 campaign, an anonymous woman sued Trump for raping her at a party hosted by Epstein when she was 13. However, she withdrew her lawsuit before the election.
Cover: From left, American real estate developer Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)