NBC has released archival footage of President Trump and Jeffrey Epstein in 1992, during which the two partied at Mar-a-Lago among a sea of dancing women. At one point in the clip, Trump appears to point at a woman and tells Epstein, “She’s hot,” before whispering something else in Epstein’s ear, causing Epstein to double over with laughter.
The footage was released one day after Courtney Wild, a woman who says she was sexually abused by Epstein as a teenager, held a press conference begging other victims of Epstein to come forward. And it’s been just one week after Trump emphatically denied being friends with Epstein, a wealthy financier and convicted sex offender who was charged with sex trafficking this month.
Following Epstein’s sex trafficking charge, Trump told the press that while he knew Epstein as a Palm Beach fixture, he was “not a fan” of his. The statement contradicted an interview Trump gave to New York magazine in 2002, in which he said, “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. 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.”
The two certainly seemed to be having a good enough time in the unearthed NBC footage. The scene was shot in November 1992, when the lifestyle of the newly divorced Trump was featured on the talk show A Closer Look. NBC reports that the women were “largely cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills, in town for a game against the Miami Dolphins.” When they weren’t dancing, they were offering “glowing testimonials” about their host, Trump.
News outlets are already having a field day gawking at this morsel of footage, which features largely indecipherable dialogue. But there’s something so banal about this interaction between Trump and Epstein, a familiar scene virtually every woman has seen play out at a party: The men who consider themselves “alpha males” scanning the room, ogling women and rating them on a one-10 scale, complete with crass commentary, crude laughter, and boundless entitlement. Considering the track records of an alleged sexual abuser like Trump—and Epstein, a man who preyed on underage girls for years and mostly got away with it—imagining the way they viewed the women around them isn’t a particularly laborious challenge.