Maggie Haberman has faced a lot of criticism for her new book about Donald Trump — but it wasn’t for not getting the goods!
The New York Times journalist has been getting dragged over the past week after it came out that in interviews she did for Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, the former President hinted that he had taken some classified documents. You know, the whole reason the FBI raided Mar-A-Lago in August? The major criticism? Well, if she had information on this all these months ago and said nothing because she was saving it for her book… she may have endangered national security!
The one thing Haberman couldn’t be accused of when it came to Trump was not getting real access. Sometimes it seemed she was on his payroll she was so close! But one way or another she got there. So while there have been books written about the 45th President before, this one should be a doozy!
The latest to come out from the book, which hits stores on Tuesday, is an anecdote about how Trump reacted behind closed doors to the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell.
As our avid readers will probably have heard, Trump was one of two presidents (along with Bill Clinton) who were way, way too close to accused teen sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Both rode on the “Lolita Express” multiple times. Trump was said to be Epstein’s wingman for years and was infamously quoted in a profile of the billionaire in New York magazine — before the underage sex accusations became public:
“I’ve known Jeff for 15 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. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Just… saying it out loud.
After Epstein’s ridiculously mysterious death it seemed that was the end of the investigation into the powerful men he supposedly trafficked teens out to. But his right hand woman still had to face the music.
Maxwell was arrested in 2020 on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking for her role in Epstein’s ring. In July of that year, the New York Post published an article saying the socialite might “name names” to get a deal. That article, writes Haberman, really freaked Trump the eff out.
The then-president had bizarrely said when asked about her arrest:
“I don’t know. I haven’t really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly. I have met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach, and I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well, whatever it is.”
He actually wished her well. They asked about sex trafficking charges, and he wished her well.
According to Haberman that odd response makes more sense when you know he was quaking in his boots behind closed doors! Weeks before the well-wishing, she writes, he was in the Oval Office with top advisers when he brought up the article, asking:
“You see that article in the Post today that mentioned me?”
She wrote that Trump’s aides sat in stony “silence” as their boss asked them about what Maxwell had actually said:
“She say anything about me?”
According to Haberman’s reporting, no one said anything. Sadly the same could be said of Ghislaine. She ended up not naming any names after all, choosing to fight the charges and losing pretty badly. She was found guilty in December of last year and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
So it turns out Trump had nothing to worry about, per usual. But the fact he was worried is pretty damning in and of itself, as is any longterm relationship with Epstein, frankly. Sorry, Clinton and Trump and Prince Andrew, y’all may be innocent until proven guilty, but you’re also suspicious until proven clean.
Obviously Trump is now the one slamming Haberman’s book, calling her a “head case” with “made up stories.” Innerestingly though, we actually have some corroboration on this one. Because another journalist’s digging led to nearly the exact same story!
Remember Michael Wolff, who supposedly got accidental access to the White House? Well, in his latest book about Trump, Landslide, he wrote last year that Trump had asked the same question:
“‘Has she said anything about me?’ [Trump] openly wondered. ‘Is she going to talk? Will she roll on anybody?’”
Wolff went as far as saying Trump wondered aloud about pardoning her and even himself. But it’s funny that two different reporters with too much very real access to Trump heard the same story, isn’t it?
Do YOU think Trump had reason to worry? Do you trust ANYONE who was pals with Jeffrey Epstein??
[Image via 60 Minutes/YouTube/MEGA/WENN.]