Jeffrey Epstein attempted to work his way into Donald Trump’s inner circle during the 2016 presidential election, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Epstein, a convicted sex offender, died in 2019. Epstein arranged for at least two wealthy Trump backers — billionaire Peter Thiel and real-estate investor Thomas Barrack — to meet with Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the U.N., the report revealed, citing sources familiar with Trump as well as documents.
Thiel told the Journal that the meeting with Churkin resulted in “nothing memorable” and that he was naive about Epstein as a financier and influence peddler. “I didn’t think enough about what Epstein’s agenda might have been,” Thiel said. Barrack declined to comment to the Journal. A Trump spokesperson told the Journal that none of the people Epstein reached out to were Trump campaign officials and that Trump had banned Epstein from Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla., residence. The two knew each other in the 1990s but had a falling out after that, it has been widely reported. Epstein died in prison of an apparent suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. He is also the subject of two ongoing legal actions: a lawsuit by the U.S. Virgin Islands against JPMorgan Chase & Co.
for allegedly facilitating Epstein’s operations and a separate su …