Former President Bill Clinton said Monday he knew nothing about Jeffrey Epstein’s “terrible crimes” and tried to downplay the time he spent on the billionaire’s private plane.
In a statement issued hours after Epstein was arraigned on a sex-trafficking indictment, Clinton said he took “a total of four trips” with the financier in 2002 and 2003—to Europe, Asia and Africa.
It’s not clear how many flights were involved in each trip or how that number would square with flight logs that reportedly show Clinton on 26 flights on Epstein’s plane between 2001 and 2003. Gawker reported in 2015 that the logs also appear to show Clinton on a 2002 domestic flight between Miami and Westchester County, with Epstein also on board.
In his statement, Clinton said the trips included stops in connection with the Clinton Foundation and that he was accompanied by staff, foundation supporters and Secret Service agents on “every leg of every trip.”
“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,” the statement said.
The statement said Clinton made “one brief visit” to Epstein’s apartment in New York—alongside a “staff member and his security detail”—in 2002. The two men also met at Clinton’s Harlem office “around the same time” as the apartment visit, the statement said.
“He‘s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida,” the statement read.
The statement did not mention Clinton’s financial ties to Epstein. As The Daily Beast reported, a former charity of Epstein’s, the C.O.U.Q. Foundation, donated $25,000 to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charity in 2006 and was recently listed among past and present donors on the Clinton Foundation’s website.