Investigating Bill Clinton’s claim that he only flew on Epstein’s jet 4 times

Jeff Carlson of has carefully examined Bill Clinton’s recent claim that he only flew 4 times on a jet owned by Jeffery Epstein.  Unsurprisingly it turns out that it is another one of his tricky uses of language to mislead while still telling the literal truth, such as his claim a quarter century ago that he was “never alone in a hotel” with Paula Jones (because there were lots of other guests and staff in the hotel at the time).

In a long and good overview of the Epstein affair, Clinton and Trump, Carlson writes:

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.”

Clinton’s statement may be factually correct, but it also appears to be a potential lie by omission. Note that Clinton’s statement only addresses flights on Epstein’s jet that took place in 2002 and 2003. Clinton states that he’s not spoken to Epstein in “well over a decade.” In other words, the Clinton statement leaves the years prior to 2002 and the period from 2004 to 2008 notably unaddressed.

In a 2016 article, Fox News reported that, based on a review of flight logs, Clinton had made “at least 26 trips” aboard Epstein’s private jet, which has been called the “Lolita Express” in media reports. The flight logs indicate that Clinton flew without a Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights.

The Fox article specifically mentions 2001, a year not covered by Clinton’s statement, as being a period in which Clinton traveled aboard the Epstein jet:

“Trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including ‘Tatiana.’ The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.”

It’s possible that the former president is correct in his assertion that he has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s private island. Indeed, Fox reported that flight logs do not show Clinton aboard any flights to St. Thomas, the nearest airport to Little St. James.

What does seem clear is that Clinton was a frequent traveler on Epstein’s 727 jet. According to the article, these same flight logs “show Clinton flying aboard Epstein’s plane to such destinations as Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, China, Brunei, London, New York, the Azores, Belgium, Norway, Russia and Africa.”

With the media’s efforts to distract from Clinton by focusing relentlessly on Alex Acosta’s role in the seemingly sweetheart plea deal achieving success with his resignation, they will no doubt attempt to move on to other stories. But there is every reason to believe that further charges will be forthcoming from the prosecutors at the SDNY, and that more victims of Epstein, now adults, will be speaking to the media. Much as with Harvey Weinstein, the public’s interest combined with the fury of the #MeToo movement will make it impossible to bottle up this story.

Photo credit: Chris Savas

Hat tip: Roger Luchs

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