Attempting to dismiss his social connections to Jeffrey Epstein last week, President Trump said that he “wasn’t a fan” of the financier and that he “knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him.” But a video published by NBC News on Wednesday of the pair appearing to comment on women’s bodies at Mar-a-Lago in 1992 seems to make this yet another example of the president denying the existence of an occasion that was recorded on tape.
As The Cut explains:
The tape was filmed as part of a talk-show profile of Trump’s post-divorce life, and shows Trump surrounded by cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills, who were in Florida to play against the Miami Dolphins. Trump dances with them, grabs them, bites his lip, and at one point, grabs a woman around her waist, pulls her against him, and then pats her butt.
Part way through the tape, Epstein arrives at the future president’s resort with two other guests. They stand around the edges of the dance floor, watching the women dance. Trump talks to Epstein and another man, pointing out various women, gesturing toward one and appearing to say to Epstein, “Look at her, back there. She’s hot.” Epstein grins and nods. Trump then whispers something in Epstein’s ear, and the billionaire doubles over in laughter.
The video, which shows Trump grabbing women in a manner consistent with his own description on the Access Hollywood tape, came about because Trump nonconsensually kissed NBC anchor Faith Daniels on the lips in public. (The forced kiss was originally reported by NBC during the 2016 campaign.) As the Washington Post explains:
The footage was taken for a feature on Trump that aired on the NBC talk show “A Closer Look” [in November 1992]. On the segment, host Faith Daniels described Trump’s agreeing to come on the show after he kissed the news anchor on the lips in front of photographers at a charity dinner in New York while her husband’s back was turned …
“You kissed me on the lips in front of the paparazzi, and I said, ‘That’ll cost you. I’m booking you on the show,’” Daniels said to Trump.
“Uh-huh. I know. That’s great,” Trump responded, adding: “It was so open and nice.”
“So open and nice?” interjected Daniels. “Wait a minute.”
In his 1992 appearance on A Closer Look, Daniels also questions the recently divorced Trump on how he would explain the party in which he was seen groping NFL cheerleaders to his oldest son, Donald Trump Jr. “He’s 14, and, uh, he could really understand that one,” Trump responded. He added, in one of his greatest appraisals of Trump Jr. to date: “No, that one’s alright.”