Joe Lockhart Insists Epstein Wasn’t Part of ‘the Clinton Circle’ — Before Pivoting to Criticize Labor Sec Acosta
Former Bill Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart insisted on Tuesday that Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking crimes have more to do with Trump Labor Secretary Alex Acosta than they do with the former president.
Lockhart appeared on CNN’s New Day to talk about the public outrage against Acosta, much of which has to do with how Acosta supervised a plea deal that gave Epstein a lenient sentence about a decade ago when the financier was first accused of sexually abusing underaged women. When Alisyn Camerota noted that Epstein’s connection to Clinton makes this a thorny issue for Democrats, Lockhart dismissed the idea that his former boss has deep ties to Epstein.
“I know most of the Clinton circle, Jeffrey Epstein’s not part of it,” Lockhart said. “I have never met the guy. I have met most of the president’s friends, but all of this should come out.”
Lockhart pivoted from there to say: “The really striking thing for me with this administration is there’s no discussion at all about the underlying behavior. No one questions Alex Acosta’s judgment in letting this guy go through. It’s all about ‘well, will this look bad on the president,’ and I don’t think someone like Acosta would ever have been nominated by another president – if they had done vetting – but certainly wouldn’t have lasted this long.”
Ever since Epstein was arrested and charged for an assortment of illicit actions, the financier’s past and his connections to high-profile individuals like Clinton and Donald Trump have been massive sources of public and legal intrigue. Trump and Epstein have shared a social connection with each other in the past, and Clinton has flown on Epstein’s jet multiple times and visited his residences.
Trump has declined to say anything about the Epstein scandal yet, but Clinton’s office put out a statement on Monday insisting he had no knowledge of the financier’s alleged actions.
Watch above, via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]