In a somewhat bizarre interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff, Microsoft founder Bill Gates dodged questions about any ties he had to Jeffrey Epstein, the deceased sex trafficking financier.
In the wide-ranging interview that focused more on topics like COVID, climate change, and the work of his foundation, Woodruff launched into a series of questions about Gates’s dealings with Epstein.
She prefaced her questions by noting that at the time, Epstein had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from minors when he met Gates.
Gates’ answers about Epstein have garnered a lot of attention.
Judy Woodruff began by asking Gates what he knew of Epstein when they first met.
Gates seemed to squirm in his chair and was very guarded in his words. He explained:
“You know, I had dinners with him. I regret doing that. He had relationships with people he said would give to global health, which is an interest I have. Not nearly enough philanthropy goes in that direction. Those meetings were a mistake. They didn’t result in what he purported, and I cut them off.”
He added, “You know, that goes back a long time ago now. So there’s nothing new on that.”
Woodruff didn’t let him off the hook, and tried to pin Gates down for an answer: “It was reported that you continued to meet with him over several years, and that — in other words, a number of meetings. What did you do when you found out about his background?”
Gates repeated, “I said I regretted having those dinners, and there’s nothing, absolutely nothing new on that.”
It was here that Woodruff asked what had the potential to be a very telling question. She asked Gates if there was a lesson for him or anyone else who might be in a similar situation.
Gates’s answer is what’s drawing so much attention to the episode:
Gates stated, “Well, he’s dead.”
He continued, “So … You know, in general, you always have to be careful. And you know, I’m very proud of what we’ve done, very proud of the work of the foundation. That’s what I get up every day and focus on.”
Judy Woodruff was not the first person to interview Bill Gates about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
The Washington Post reports that back in August, Gates was interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, where he essentially told the same story of meeting for several dinners with Epstein presumably to discuss topics related to Gates’s philanthropic endeavors.
Again, he told Cooper that associating with Epstein was “a huge mistake,” and that when it looked like any charitable funding “wasn’t a real thing,” he ended any dealings with Epstein.
Gates gave a rather cryptic answer, making a sort of comparison between himself and others who may have associated with Epstein, “It was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there. You know, there were lots of others in that same situation, but I made a mistake.”
But perhaps the most disturbing comments from Gates came in 2011. After his initial meeting with Epstein, Gates emailed colleagues about how “his lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me.”
Gates’s spokeswoman Bridgitt Arnold later stated that Gates was “was referring only to the unique decor of the Epstein residence — and Epstein’s habit of spontaneously bringing acquaintances in to meet Mr. Gates.”
Speaking of that decor – it’s long been reported that found in Epstein’s house was a painted portrait of former President Bill Clinton wearing red high heels and the infamous “blue dress” of Monica Lewinsky fame.
Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide in his New York City jail cell in August of 2019, but he was back in the news this week.
On Tuesday, one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against Britain’s Prince Andrew, claiming that she was forced to have sex with the Prince at the London home of long-time Epstein associate Ghislane Maxwell.
Maxwell is currently being held on charges of sex trafficking.
Watch the PBS segment here:
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