Bill Clinton "knows nothing" about the "terrible crimes" linked to Jeffrey Epstein, the former president's spokesman said Monday, in Clinton's first statement after new sex-trafficking charges were lobbed against the wealthy financier.
An indictment alleging sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy was unsealed Monday morning against Epstein, the wealthy and politically connected financier who pleaded not guilty during his initial appearance in a New York City federal court. Prosecutors alleged that Epstein, the 66-year-old wealthy hedge fund manager arrested on Saturday, preyed on "dozens" of victims as young as 14.
"In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation," the statement said. "Staff, supporters of the foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip. He had one meeting with Epstein in his Harlem office in 2002, and around the same time made one brief visit to Epstein’s New York apartment with a staff member and his security detail. He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and he has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”
Separately, claims in court showed that President Trump may have flown on the jet at least once, as well.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Bill Barr said he has recused himself from the matter "because one of the law firms that represented Epstein long ago was a firm I subsequently joined for a period of time."
On Saturday evening, Christine Pelosi, a Democratic National Committee official and daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, warned conspicuously that it is "quite likely that some of our faves are implicated" in the "horrific" sex-trafficking case.
"This Epstein case is horrific and the young women deserve justice," Pelosi tweeted. "It is quite likely that some of our faves are implicated but we must follow the facts and let the chips fall where they may - whether on Republicans or Democrats."
For his part, Trump previously called attention to Clinton's dealings with the financier.
"Nice guy -- uh, got a lot of problems coming up, in my opinion, with the famous island, with Jeffrey Epstein," Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity in 2015, referring to Clinton's connections with Epstein. "A lot of problems."
Meanwhile, Trump biographer Tim O'Brien this weekend reposted an excerpt fom a 2002 profile of Epstein in New York Magazine, in which Trump told a reporter, "I've known Jeff for fifteen 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."
Trump banned Epstein from his Mar-a-Lago estate “because Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club,” according to court documents filed by Bradley Edwards, the lawyer who has represented several Epstein accusers. That claim has not been confirmed by Trump or Mar-a-Lago.
Epstein appeared Monday in a hearing that lasted about 30 minutes wearing a blue prison top with a brown T-shirt underneath, in addition to orange slip-on sneakers. Prosecutors said in the 36 hours since Epstein's arrest, multiple attorneys and several individuals have come forward and said they were victims, none of whom had previously been spoken to.
Epstein allegedly created and maintained a "vast network" and operation from 2002 "up to and including" at least 2005 that enabled him to "sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls" in addition to paying victims to recruit other underage girls.
"This allowed Epstein to create an ever-expanding web of new victims," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said at a news conference.
Berman added that nude photographs "of what appeared to be underage girls" were discovered at Epstein's Manhattan mansion during a search following his arrest Saturday. The hundreds of photos were discovered in a locked safe, according to officials.
Prosecutors also allege Epstein "worked and conspired with others, including employees and associates" who helped facilitate his conduct by contacting victims and scheduling their sexual encounters with the 66-year-old at his mansion in New York City and Palm, Beach, Fla.
At Epstein's multi-story mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, prosecutors said that victims would be escorted to a room with a massage table where they would perform a massage on him.
"The victims, who were as young as 14 years of age, were told by Epstein or other individuals to partially or fully undress before beginning the 'massage,'" prosecutors wrote. "During the encounter, Epstein would escalate the nature and scope of physical contact with his victims to include, among other things, sex acts such as groping and direct and indirect contact with the victim's genitals."
In Monday's court appearance, prosecutors said that the massage room in New York was set up exactly as how the alleged victims described it 15 years ago.
Victims would be paid hundreds of dollars in cash by either Epstein or one of his associates or employees, according to prosecutors. The 66-year-old also allegedly "incentivized his victims" to become recruiters by paying the victim-recruiters hundreds of dollars for each girl brought to him.
"In so doing, Epstein maintained a steady supply of new victims to exploit," federal prosecutors said.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said that Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey at 5 p.m. on Saturday "without incident." Epstein is now being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal jail near the Manhattan courthouse where he appeared Monday afternoon.
Fox News' Travis Fedschun and Tamara Gitt contributed to this report.