Trump-Epstein Back Story Is Getting Worse by the Day
Welcome To Waterbury: The City That Holds Secrets That Could Bring Down Trump
By Wayne Madsen and Andrew Kreig
A woman whom Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein allegedly sodomized and raped at the age of 12 along with at least one other underage girl at a midtown Manhattan townhouse in 1994 is alive and trying to maintain obscurity from alt-right operatives who have identified her and her current residence.
The Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) and Justice Integrity Project (JIP) are revealing here for the first time the story of “Maria,” who was identified as such in two 2016 federal civil lawsuits brought against Trump and Epstein by another underage victim of the pair, Katie Johnson (aka, “Jane Doe”).
The product of a month-long investigation that took us to the site of the girl’s kidnapping in Waterbury, Connecticut, this information comes from confidential sources in multiple states. They have been pursuing the “Maria” story since the 1994 incident was first referenced in Johnson’s lawsuits. Johnson dropped the suit after she became the victim of physical threats by individuals who claimed to be Trump supporters, according to her account in court records.
The original tip came to WMR, which can report exclusively that a Waterbury girl, “Maria,” was the 12-year old alleged to have been a child rape victim of Donald Trump and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, shown at right. The crimes allegedly occurred at a midtown Manhattan mansion then owned by Epstein’s friend Les Wexner, a billionaire retailing mogul.
Maria was kidnapped on March 19, 1993, when she was 11-years old from the front of Nash’s Pizza in Waterbury. The girl’s kidnappers were involved in a child trafficking ring that provided abductees to wealthy individuals like Trump and Epstein in Manhattan, according to our information.
Jan. 13 and Jan. 18 Updates: The Wall Street Journal reported (Trump Lawyer Arranged $130,000 Payment for Adult-Film Star’s Silence) a hush payment just before the 2016 election to porn actress Stormy Daniels to deny an alleged affair in 2006 with the married Trump. This 2016 time period was about the time that Katie Johnson withdrew her lawsuit. Among follow-ups, the New York Daily News published a cover story focused on an alleged comment Trump made referencing his daughter. Also, the Washington Post wrote, Why are we only now hearing of a porn star’s tale about Trump?
Regarding the 1993 kidnapping of Maria: The Waterbury Police Department has refused to provide us with a copy of the original police report on her abduction. It defers to Linda Wihbey, the city’s Corporation Counsel.
On December 12, 2017, Wihbey made her views known in a phone call with Andrew Kreig of JIP, as Wayne Madsen listened. She said that she was ready to “welcome us to Waterbury” until she decided that our investigation was “hostile” to her and Waterbury’s interests. These suffered greatly some 17 years ago over a high-profile pedophilia incident involving the city’s Republican mayor.
Waterbury’s stance emerged from our request for the 1993 police report on Maria’s abduction, including any relevant witness statements provided to the police.
The site of “Maria’s” kidnapping in 1993, then known as Nash’s Pizza restaurant, since relocated [WMR photo]
Things Seemed ‘Strange’
Waterbury (shown in a photo via Wikimedia) reported 110,000 in population at the last census and is located 77 miles northeast of New York City.
In 1993, Maria lived with her mother and nine siblings in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in Waterbury, which is nicknamed “The Brass City” for its once-booming brass and clock factories. It is now suffering from urban blight, like many New England cities with abandoned factories.
Maria, whose father died in 1991, was reportedly abducted just moments after her mother entered the pizzeria while asking Maria to wait outside. The precise circumstances are among the secrets that police are withholding, thus limiting news coverage. The mother died in 2015.
One resident of the kidnapped girl’s close-knit neighborhood told us that the circumstances always seemed strange to the family and neighbors, and yet almost no police or other interest has been apparent for many years. Our source also stated that Maria’s mother always felt that her daughter was alive and, at one time, was in New York City. Another source in Waterbury said that it was the belief by many neighborhood residents at the time of Maria’s abduction that she was kidnapped by a ring operating out of New York. “Those who took her [Maria] were not from Waterbury,” said one longtime Puerto Rican resident familiar with the case.
In the interest of responsible journalism, we are withholding Maria’s actual full name. A June 25, 2010 paper, titled “Protecting victims’ identities in press coverage of child victimization,” which was published by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, spells out the concerns of releasing the identities of child sex victims without prior precautions being taken. The authors of the paper contend, “When the names of child victims and other identifying information appear in the media it can exacerbate trauma, complicate recovery, discourage future disclosures and inhibit cooperation with authorities for the children involved.”
Maria is still listed as a “missing person” by the Waterbury Police Department. The police missing person notification states that Maria was last seen at the corner of Walnut Street and Walnut Avenue at Nash’s Pizza. It adds that the girl “was 11-years-old when she went missing.”
Here is a development that proved startling in Maria’s neighborhood, including to at least one family member: She is alive.
Maria has been avoiding any public limelight since the Trump Organization discovered her actual identity, according to our sources. During the 2016 presidential campaign, there was some interest in the Maria story by major corporate media outlets, but they were intimidated by Trump Organization legal threats.
The incident helps illustrate the institutional cowardice and greed of many of the major news organizations and the danger that unprotected whistleblower/victims face when they share their stories with such journalists. Although the initial reporters and producers are usually very well-intentioned they work for conglomerates whose top executives realize that it’s typically safer not to antagonize the power structure.
That would be in this case a litigious billionaire Trump, who now influences, if not controls, a vast “law enforcement,” national security and broadcast federal regulatory apparatus.
The federal government delivers (or withholds) merger and tax approvals, for example, scrutiny over a host of other legal and regulatory issues, plus discretionary grants that can be vital to local authorities, particularly those with financial struggles like Waterbury. Beyond that, monied interests in the power structure have fostered private goons and trolls — sometimes equipped with the trappings of legitimate law enforcement or journalism — who can seek out whistleblowers, victims and reporters alike to set them up for vicious legal or extra-legal reprisals.
In the case of Katie Johnson, she alleged in lawsuits filed in federal courts first in California and then in New York that Trump knew that she was 13-years old when he assaulted and raped her in 1993. Johnson said that it was Trump who initiated contact with her at four different parties at Epstein’s residence in Manhattan. The mansion, shown below in a photo via Google Maps, was owned by the billionaire retailing magnate Les Wexner, who controls such companies as Victoria’s Secret.
Here is Johnson’s account, taken from her most recent lawsuit filed in Manhattan’s federal court:
She said that she was inveigled into the “party” scene after she was approached by an Epstein party “recruiter” while she was at the New York-New Jersey Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street in Manhattan. The recruiter suggested that she might become a model if she met the right people at a fashionable party. That was a typical approach used by Epstein’s recruiters, who leveraged his high-level contacts with fashion, modeling, photography, travel, political and entertainment figures to entice girls, tweens and teens, according to court records.
The Johnson lawsuit states that at their fourth encounter at an Epstein party: “Defendant Trump tied Plaintiff to a bed, exposed himself to Plaintiff, and then proceeded to forcibly rape Plaintiff. During the course of this savage sexual attack, Plaintiff loudly pleaded with Defendant Trump to stop but with no effect. Defendant Trump responded to Plaintiff’s pleas by violently striking Plaintiff in the face with his open hand and screaming that he would do whatever he wanted.”
Johnson (shown in a screenshot with her face obscured) claimed that at two parties Epstein raped her once after she had been raped by Trump. During the second encounter with Epstein, Johnson stated that Epstein raped her “anally and vaginally despite her loud pleas to stop.” She stated that Epstein attempted to strike her on the head “with his closed fists,” while he angrily screamed that he [Epstein], rather than Trump, should have been the one who took the girl’s virginity.
According to the suit, Trump told Johnson that if she ever revealed the sexual encounter with Trump, the girl and her family would be “physically harmed if not killed.” Johnson also stated that Epstein periodically reiterated to her Trump’s earlier threat that if she were to “reveal any of the details of his sexual and physical abuse of her or else,” she and her family would be “seriously physically harmed, if not killed.”
Trump Fights Back: All ‘Lies’ and Fake News, He Says
Trump and his representatives have repeatedly insisted that any woman who alleges that he harassed or sexually assaulted her is lying. The Washington Post, among other outlets, reported that stance in All of the women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying, the White House says, a story published on Oct. 26, 2017.
After filing her first complaint against Epstein and Trump in California on April 26, 2016, Johnson said that she began receiving threatening phone calls on her cell phone from blocked numbers. She refiled in New York. A courtroom hearing was scheduled for mid-December 2016 in federal court for the Southern District of Manhattan. U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams [pictured at right] said that she was requiring Epstein and Trump to appear before her in the Johnson lawsuit, an unusual requirement for a pre-trial hearing, especially in a civil case. Because of the threats, Johnson pulled her lawsuit just prior to the 2016 presidential election and no hearing occurred.
There are many pundits who will say from their comfortable perches that the withdrawal of this and similar lawsuits means there is nothing further to examine, especially if any flaw can be found or alleged involving the personality of a plaintiff, the supporting witnesses or lawyers. But that blame-the-victim conventional wisdom is being upended by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements — and is especially wrong-headed in this case for several important reasons.
First, there is substantial evidence that Epstein and Trump are notorious sexual predators and billionaire litigants who use threats and the legal system to their advantage. Epstein is a convicted pedophile who targeted junior high and high school girls, as described below. Epstein was required to register as a convicted sex offender [pictured at left]. Trump has long been notorious as a lecher, telling ABC’s “The View” in 2006, “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
More recently in November, The Washington Post published in “President Trump and accusations of sexual misconduct: The complete list extensive details of thirteen women (not including those alleging crimes only on social media or those like Katie Johnson who had withdrawn lawsuits) making accusations against him, along with names and details of corroborating witnesses. Wikipedia, under a heading Donald Trump sexual misconduct allegations, lists 15 claims as of this writing.
After underage sexual abuse allegations began surfacing during the failed campaign of GOP Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, Ivanka Trump (shown on her Twitter portrait) said of Moore, “there’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children. She added, “I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ account.” Bannon, who supported Moore’s campaign, replied to Trump’s daughter in a December 2017 interview with Vanity Fair, “What about the allegations about her dad and that 13-year-old?” Bannon was referring, of course, to Katie Johnson.
Second, the vulnerability of sex abuse victims in their early teens from poor families requires special attention. Nowhere is that more poignant than in the case of the girl “Maria.” Police reports say that she was kidnapped at age 11 from her own neighborhood and, to all outward appearances, then disappeared off the face of the earth. In sum, the track record and power of these two particular defendants requires a deeper look at the allegations, particularly in light of the lessons learned from the #MeToo harassment and assault revelations this past fall regarding other powerful predators.
A Deeper Look
So, we return to the allegations in the “Jane Doe” (aka Katie Johnson) lawsuit despite the practice of pundits, lawyers, trolls, fanatics and thugs, many well-paid or fanatically ideological, using their varied skills to claim that there’s nothing to see or know. You be the judge, based on these lawsuit claims:
On July 23, 2016, “Joan Doe,” a classmate of Johnson during the 1994-1995 school year, signed an affidavit avowing that Johnson had told her during the summer of 1994 about the sexual assaults by Epstein and Trump.
Another witness, “Tiffany Doe,” signed an affidavit in support of Johnson’s suit on June 18, 2016. Tiffany Doe stated that she had been hired in 1990 by Epstein when she was 22 to “provide entertainment” for his various “guests.” She further stated that Epstein hired her in 1991 as a “party planner” to, among other duties, entice “attractive adolescent women” to attend Epstein’s parties. Tiffany Doe stated that she personally witnessed Trump’s sexual assault and rape of Johnson during four encounters.
Johnson also stated in the suit that Trump told her that she “shouldn’t ever say anything if she didn’t want to disappear like Maria, a 12-year-old female that was forced to be involved in the third incident” with Trump. Johnson said she had not seen “Maria” after the third sexual encounter with Trump. Tiffany Doe said that she witnessed Johnson and 12-year old “Maria” perform oral sex on Trump.
Vendetta Against Puerto Rico?
There’s a larger story here. Trump’s psychopathy of disinterest in Puerto Rico and its post-Hurricane Maria problems may stem in part from Maria’s roots in Puerto Rico. Trump’s addled ego may have reacted when Puerto Rico was struck by Hurricane Maria. It could well have reminded him that a victim whom he knew as Maria knows details that could very well bring down him and his administration.
The Trump administration’s extreme disinterest in Puerto Rico’s recovery — especially in comparison to post-hurricane rescue efforts for continental U.S. sites this fall — has been reported by many news organizations, including last week, for example, in After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Faces Indifference. The national media reported it visually by showing his contemptuous hurling of paper towels to Islanders at a photo op soon after the disaster.
In terms of solving the 1993 kidnapping, Waterbury Corporate Counsel Wihbey did reveal to us that about four or five years ago — she said “around 2012 or 2013” — there was some interest by “law enforcement” and “a few journalists” in the Maria missing person police report from 1993. Wihbey told us that the case remains under “active” investigation even though it has been a dormant “cold case” for several years. Originally, spokespersons for Waterbury Police Chief Vernon Riddick Jr. expressed no real opposition to releasing the police report, claiming that all that was needed was the chief’s concurrence.
Wihbey is pictured above at a Connecticut Freedom of Information hearing defending Waterbury’s insistence on retaining secret documents in another matter. It involved the details of a largely secret arrangement whereby Waterbury taxpayers paid former Republican Connecticut governor and ex-con John Rowland, a former Waterbury state assemblyman and congressman after he had been imprisoned on a federal political corruption charge in 2004.
Waterbury’s Democratic Mayor Neil O’Leary may continue to have good reason to be concerned about public interest in the abduction of Maria to provide sex for pedophiles like Trump and Epstein in New York.
Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, center, was a witness in a high-profile Freedom of Information complaint in 2013 by Connecticut journalist and author Andy Thibault, right.
O’Leary was the Waterbury police chief (as shown below) when now-imprisoned Republican Mayor Phil Giordano (nicknamed “Pedo Phil”) was arrested by the FBI as part of their investigation of payoffs to the mayor by Mafia building contractors. During court-authorized wiretaps of Giordano’s phones, the FBI became aware that the mayor was paying a female Puerto Rican prostitute named Guitana (“Gigi”) Jones for sex with her 10-year old niece and 8-year old daughter. Giordano and Rowland were once close political allies and Rowland’s cozy relationship with Mayor O’Leary has raised eyebrows in Connecticut.
Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, center, a former Waterbury assemblyman later imprisoned on corruption charges, and then Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano, at right, meet in October 2000 at the exclusive Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, Connecticut.
According to federal court records: The trysts between Mayor Giordano and the children took place over nine months in 2000 and 2001 in the mayor’s office, his official car, his home, a friend’s home, and his private law office. Giordano paid Jones $40 to $60 per visit. Giordano made special requests for the two girls on days when he knew they were off from school.
During 2000, Giordano, a former U.S. Marine and state assemblyman representing Waterbury, was the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate against then-Democrat Joe Lieberman. Giordano, married to an attractive heiress, also made no secret of his desire to become the vice president of the United States. In 2003, Giordano was sentenced to 37 years in a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona after his conviction of violating the civil rights of the two female children, using interstate devices (cellphones) to arrange the meetings, and conspiring with Jones to supply the children for sexual purposes.
It is not known how long Giordano [pictured above right in police mug shot] was using his mayoralty and other political influence to arrange for sexual encounters with girls. In 1993, when Maria was abducted, Giordano had been a Republican state representative for Waterbury. Giordano’s mob-linked friend, Joseph Pontoriero, owner of Worth Construction Company, Inc. of Bethel, Connecticut, was also tied to a Mafia syndicate’s numerous concrete-pouring construction contracts in Manhattan and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Pontoriero provided Giordano with $8,300 in designer clothing and a $12,000 loan for a minivan in return for Waterbury contracting favors, federal authorities showed.
According to several major biographies, Trump grew his businesses while maintaining relationships with Mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno (shown at right), the Genovese family crime underboss, and Paul Castellano, chief of the Gambino family. The Genovese and Gambino organizations, named after leaders in their heyday, have historically been the most powerful and dangerous of the New York City metro region’s five Mafia families. The construction firms they controlled, including S & A Concrete, poured concrete for Manhattan’s Trump Tower, Trump Plaza, and other Trump building projects in New York and Atlantic City. Trump’s Atlantic City construction projects also involved Philadelphia and South Jersey Mafia chief Nick “Little Nicky” Scarfo, who was regarded as vengeful and murderous at a level reaching psychotic proportion.
Trump’s association with Mafia bosses resulted from intermediary services provided by the infamous mobbed-up lawyer Roy Cohn (shown at left), someone also known for his prurient sexual interests involving young men. Cohn, who represented leaders in both the Genovese and Gambino mobs, died in 1986 from complications from AIDS. Before that, however, as Trump’s business attorney, friend and mentor, Cohn made the right “introductions” for Trump in the organized crime underground of the New York City area, including Connecticut.
It is very likely that Trump’s focus on girls and young women involved compromising him with “favors” that were provided by mob elements in New York and elsewhere, such as Waterbury. And, considering Waterbury’s current obfuscation on providing official information on Maria’s abduction and Giordano’s mob ties and pedophile problems, concerned citizens might reasonably demand answers regarding basic information about the kidnapped girl — as well as how those secrets relate to the city’s troubled past and current politics.
In Waterbury, federal authorities broke up the massive corruption scheme and documented Giordano’s compulsive sex obsession with teens and pre-teens. Meanwhile, Waterbury authorities apparently proceeded in an oblivious manner that, in the most charitable interpretation, resembled the acumen of Inspector Clouseau in the movies.
Eventually, the Italian Mafia would introduce Trump to the even more nefarious Russian Jewish mob, which was nestled around Brighton Beach, also known as “Little Odessa,” in Brooklyn.
WMR has reported extensively that it was from these quarters that Trump would be introduced to the money-laundering services of shady Eastern European, mostly Jewish, gangsters. These included Felix Sater, David Bogatin, Vyachelsav Ivankov, and the most dangerous mobster of them all —Semion Mogilevich. These mobsters specialized in not only money laundering, but the other big threat to Trump’s presidency — sex trafficking, including of underage girls. WMR’s findings are summarized in a visual relationship chart of “Trump-Kushner-Sater-Manafort Global Syndicate Road Map” showing persons and entities that was first published last spring and is updated.
Helping to confirm the importance of this illicit network was former Trump Chief Strategist Steven Bannon’s remark quoted by author Michael Wolff in the Fire and Fury best-seller that Trump and his associates are highly vulnerable to money laundering charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe.
Epstein’s “Lolita Express”
Trump’s pedophile problems also extend to his Mar-a-Lago private estate and club in Palm Beach, Florida. In 2005, when a Florida mother accused Trump’s “good friend” Epstein with having her underage daughter “Mary” strip down and “massage” Epstein for $300, a barrage of subsequent civil lawsuits was brought against the billionaire investor, who started out his career as a seventh-grade teacher at the exclusive Dalton School in Manhattan from 1973 to 1975.
In a 2002 interview with New York Magazine, Trump said of his friend Epstein, “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. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Trump’s 15-year relationship with Epstein put the alleged rapes of Katie Johnson and Maria well within the timeframe of their friendship.
Palm Beach police detectives led by Det. Joe Recarey and the FBI built up a criminal case against Epstein that soon involved over 100 “Jane Does” who accused the Palm Beach resident Epstein, a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, with sexual assault.
One victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, claimed that she was 15 when Epstein’s chief procurer of young girls, Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late newspaper press lord and Mossad operative Robert Maxwell, recruited her into “service” while she was a towel girl at Mar-a-Lago.
Giuffre said that the adjoining photo of her with Maxwell and Prince Andrew of Britain’s royal family when she was 17 illustrates the time when she was being trafficked. Epstein, Maxwell and Buckingham Palace denied improprieties, and Giuffre settled a lawsuit against Epstein.,
Some of the girls were 14-years-old at the time of Epstein’s alleged assaults at these venues: his Palm Beach El Brillo Way mansion (which is just a mile away from Mar-a-Lago), Epstein’s private Little Saint James Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, his private Boeing 737, and his huge ranch in New Mexico. The other “Jane Does” in the civil cases against Epstein were identified in court documents with the initials of “L.M.,” “E.W.,” and “M.J.”
The Sweetheart Deal Protecting Pervert Pedophiles
Under the Bush administration, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Acosta (shown at right), arranged a sweetheart plea deal for Epstein, who pleaded guilty to state charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution. The billionaire pervert served merely 13 months of a nighttime-only sentence in a minimum-security wing of the Palm Beach County prison for his felony guilty plea of soliciting prostitution from a minor. The New York Post reported (Massage Maven out of prison) that Epstein was permitted to have a mistress whom Epstein had described as his “sex slave” visit him in jail 67 times.
Most shocking, Epstein was spared from any further Florida or federal charges. The non-prosecution agreement was approved by Acosta in coordination with Epstein’s high-powered legal team, which included Florida attorneys Jack Goldberger and Roy Black, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz and former President Clinton’s Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who was dean of Pepperdine School of Law beginning in 2004.
And, in yet another free ride for those VIPs who were present at Epstein’s orgies with underage girls, Acosta’s plea deal stipulated that neither Florida nor the federal government would charge anyone else for having sex with underage females. Normally, sweetheart plea deals are to encourage small fry to rat out higher-ups, not to protect everyone except one miscreant receiving a slap on the wrists.
The honest police in West Palm Beach were so outraged by the sellout that they risked firing by anonymously posting on the web details (redacted to remove names) of the shocking specifics of Epstein’s crimes against the girls, who were primarily of junior high and high school age. WMR has inspected the court record in criminal and civil cases, and identified 104 separate “Jane Doe” victims of Epstein and his ring in one case alone.
Ironies abound. Clinton and Prince Andrew of the United Kingdom’s royal family were among Epstein’s social circles. The former president while involved with Clinton Foundation activitiestook many documented flights on Epstein’s luxury airplane, although no abuse claims have yet surfaced against him. Starr (shown in a portrait) would go on to become chancellor of Baylor University, where he would intone on the importance of moral instruction for college students, as we reported in the 2015 column Moralist Ken Starr Explains His Help For Billionaire Pervert Jeffrey Epstein. However, a massive sex scandal in football player recruitment, whereby students reported being raped after serving as hostesses for prospective student athletes, festered under his nose and would ultimately cost him his job,
Trump ultimately rewarded Acosta for his “deal” with Epstein by nominating him last year to become U.S. Secretary of Labor. Acosta was approved on a near-party line vote. Most Democrats were too timid to grill him on the Epstein plea deal. Republicans touted his Hispanic and “law enforcement” backgrounds. From this Trump post where Acosta serves as the supposed watchdog over the employment rights of workers, the Labor Secretary continues to serve as an ostensibly decent public servant and rare minority face in the Trump cabinet.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, with his hand on a Bible and surrounded by family members, is sworn into office by Vice President Michael Pence last year.
Let’s think about the high stakes involved and the apparent lack of sustained scrutiny and public disclosure despite the #MeToo movment.
In this instance, the trail of Trump’s and Epstein’s pedophile sexual assaults on young girls is a long one. It extends from the greater Palm Beach area in Florida to Manhattan and, we believe, at least as far north as Waterbury, Connecticut. In most instances, substantial evidence points to law enforcement investigations that have been stymied by government cover-ups, witness intimidation, and monetary pay-offs to victims.
And now there are two new factors: One is an array of zealots, trolls and thugs determined to attack vulnerable victims, particularly to protect President Trump, the leader of their alt-right movement. Also, we see that an entire U.S. territory, Puerto Rico, is suffering from continued storm damage, loss of life and lack of normal federal rescue efforts — and perhaps it’s at least in part because an addled but vengeful Trump conflates a 12-year old Puerto Rican girl whom he knew as Maria with the devastating hurricane of the same name.
To be continued…
Editor’s note: The column above was updated in several respects, including a corrected date of Maria’s abduction, which was on March 19, 1993, not the date of March 20 originally listed in one official report.
Justice Integrity Project, Trump’s multiple sex scandals endanger U.S. national security, Andrew Kreig and Wayne Madsen, Jan. 24, 2018. Recent claims that Donald Trump paid hush money before the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels to cover up a 2006 affair underscore far more sinister events.
Such a payoff would show not simply Trump’s low morals and high arrogance — but also his propensity for outright crime in ways potentially damaging to the United States and many of its residents.
These grim possibilities are especially relevant to our recent exposé “Welcome to Waterbury,” which drew on 2016 lawsuit allegations that Trump and his billionaire friend Jeffrey Epstein in 1993 raped “Maria,” age 12, and “Jane Doe,” age 13, also known as Katie Johnson, in a New York City luxury townhouse then being used by Epstein).
The Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) (and concurrently at Justice Integrity Project), New information emerges in “Maria” story, Wayne Madsen and Andrew Kreig, Feb. 15, 2018. New information has emerged in the joint WMR/Justice Integrity Project investigation of the “Maria” case. As we previously reported, Katie Johnson alleged in federal law suits that Donald Trump and his friend, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, raped her, when she was 13, and a 12-year old girl — only identified as “Maria” — in New York in 1994. Our investigation discovered that Maria, 11 years of age at the time, was abducted from Waterbury, Connecticut in March 1993.
Contact the authors Andrew Kreig and Wayne Madsen
JIP Editor’s Note On Additional Research, Resources
The non-partisan Justice Integrity Project (JIP) and the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) each have exposed wrongdoing by prominent leaders of both major U.S. political parties and their administrations.
Here are inks to sections on the JIP website showing official probes of the Trump Administration and also a #MeToo section of noteworthy harassment, assault and blackmail/extortion news stories. Each section includes original reports by JIP at right, plus at left a separate archive of other major U.S. stories and commentaries since Jan. 1, 2018.
Immediately below that are releveant Trump-Epstein-related columns from the subscription-only WMR website, which are excerpted here with permission. Below that is a section of additional materials about allegations regarding Trump and Epstein, as well as the City of Waterbury
WMR Column, Follow-ups On ‘Welcome To Waterbury’ Above
Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Investigation / Commentary: Trump is a serial child abuser; efforts to force him to stop are ineffective, Wayne Madsen (shown at left), June 20, 2018 (subscription required). Wayne Madsen is an investigative reporter, syndicated columnist, author and former Navy intelligence officer once temporarily deputized by the FBI to help investigate pedophilia by a fellow Navy officer.
Court filings and witness accounts show that Donald Trump is nothing more than a serial child abuser. This antipathy toward children has taken on many forms over the decades and it includes mental, physical, and, in some cases, sexual abuse.
Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Welcome to Waterbury: The city that holds secrets that could bring down Trump, Wayne Madsen and Andrew Kreig, Jan. 9, 2018 (Reprinted above with permission). A woman who was allegedly sodomized and raped at the age of 12 along with at least one other underage girl by Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein at Epstein’s midtown Manhattan townhouse in 1993 is alive and trying to maintain obscurity from alt-right operatives who have identified her and her current residence.
Down With Tyranny, Welcome To Waterbury: The City That Holds Secrets That Could Bring Down Trump, Guest post by Andrew Kreig and Wayne Madsen, Jan. 11, 2018 (republished)
American Freedom Radio, Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump, interview of Wayne Madsen and Andrew Kreig by Pearse Redmond, host of the Porkins Policy Review and an expert on the Epstein pedophilia case and its larger importance, Jan. 16, 2018 (120 mins.).
BBS Radio / John Barbour’s World Radio Show, Implications of ‘Welcome To Waterbury’ Scandal, Host John Barbour, Jan. 22, 2018. Film maker and five-time Emmy Award winner John Barbour (shown at right), creator and co-star of the nation’s top-rated prime time television show Real People in the 1970s, interviews authors Wayne Madsen and Andrew Kreig about their story about Donald Trump.
Earlier WMR Alerts On Trump, Epstein, Pedophiles, ‘Fake News’
Investigative reporter Wayne Madsen (shown at left) is a widely published journalist and author. He edits the Wayne Madsen Report, appears frequently as a broadcast commentator, and has published 15 books. Previously, he worked 14 years as a Navy Intelligence officer, including a year as an NSA analyst. He later worked as chief scientist with a major defense contractor and as a privacy expert at a think tank. When Madsen was in the Navy, the FBI named him to be a temporary special FBI agent to help follow up his tip that his commanding officer, later imprisoned, was sexually assaulting underage victims.
In 2006, he published a three-part series on the WMR website revealing for the first time that then-U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, shown at right, was a gay pedophile who had assaulted students as a high school wrestling coach before being forced out and campaigning in Illinois as a Republican advocate of family values. A decade later, Hastert, the longest-serving GOP speaker in U.S. history, was federally indicted and then imprisoned on federal charges arising from cover-up money that he was paying to hide those assaults.
Madsen has written many such reports on the WMR site naming names to document how powerful entities use pedophilia and other hidden sex scandals to install, blackmail or otherwise influence high-ranking government officials.
Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Trump has the real “Pizzagate” scandal on his tiny hands, Wayne Madsen, Dec. 18, 2017. (Subscription required; excerpted with permission.)
On December 15, Donald Trump, Jr. raised eyebrows when he “liked” a tweet sent by far-right conspiracy monger Mike Cernovich citing a New York Times op-ed calling pedophilia a mental illness and not a crime. The 2014 article was written by Rutgers University Assistant Law Professor Margo Kaplan.
Kaplan argued in her op-ed that “about half of all child molesters are not sexually attracted to their victims.” That argument might have some merit if half of the children assaulted by pedophiles did not experience some form of sexual abuse. However, that is far from the case. Pedophiles attracted to children are not merely taking them to baseball games, county fairs, or the movies.
Cernovich’s and Trump Jr.’s endorsement of pedophilia as a mental disorder rather than criminal predation by adults on children came after the revelations that Alabama GOP failed Senate candidate Roy Moore had been charged by several women claiming the disgraced former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice had sexually harassed them when they were in their teens.
Cernovich’s defense of pedophilia is all the more ironic since it was Cernovich who helped concoct and disseminate a libelous false story about Hillary Clinton, two pizza restaurants in Washington, DC, and former White House chief of staff John Podesta being involved in a child trafficking ring involving pizzerias, pizza-oriented code words, and child torture chambers. After the fake story was amplified by the lunatic rantings of nutrition supplement salesman Alex Jones, Edgar Welch, a 28-year old man from North Carolina, shot up Comet Ping Pong in northwest Washington with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Welch believed that children were being held and tortured in the basement of the pizza restaurant, even though there is no basement. The accusations against Comet Pizza and another nearby pizzeria were groundless and they resulted in an on-air and written retraction by Jones.
It appears that Cernovich’s idea for the pizza story was derived, in part, from his cousin’s Cerno’s 1898 pizza restaurant in Kewanee, Illinois. However, the phony story about pizzerias and pedophilia has another, much more sinister, beginning….
Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), It’s Trump that has the real “Pizzagate” problem, Wayne Madsen, April 24, 2017. During the 2016 presidential campaign, disreputable websites attempted to tie Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff to a fantasy tale about a network of pedophiles who trafficked in child sex slaves using, of all things, pizzerias. Members of Donald Trump’s inner circle trafficked in the “Pizzagate” myth using such social media networks as Twitter.
Although there was absolutely nothing to the tale of pizzerias and pedophiles, an actual network of pedophiles in the Trump campaign has emerged.
The Trump campaign pedophile story begins on March 9, 2017, with Oklahoma Republican state senator Ralph Shortey checking into a Super 8 Motel in Moore,
Oklahoma. Shortey was not alone. Entering the room with him at 12:30 am was a 17-year old teenage boy. Shortey was arrested and charged with three felonies: engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution.
Shortey, a six-year veteran of the state senate, resigned after his arrest. Shortey was the chairman of the Trump campaign in Oklahoma and was chief among Trump’s campaign officials in the state to organize Trump’s appearance at the Oklahoma State Fair. Police were tipped off about Shortey and the boy by a relative requesting a “welfare check” on the minor.
After the police “got Shortey,” the Republican Party tried to remove the photographs and postings from Facebook and Twitter, but to no avail. The Internet never forgets.
Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Labor pick Acosta part of Epstein-Trump underage sex crime cover-up, Feb. 17, 2017. Alexander Acosta, President Trump’s pick to replace failed nominee Andrew Puzder as Labor Secretary, has his own political baggage stemming from his actions as U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida in the sweetheart plea deal involving billionaire pederast Jeffrey Epstein.
Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Trump’s Jane, Tiffany, and Joan Doe problem, Wayne Madsen (shown in a screeshot from a TV appearance), Feb. 8, 2017. President Trump has a problem hanging over his head. During the presidential campaign, Trump and his phalanx of attorneys pressured a California woman to drop her lawsuit against Trump and convicted Palm Beach, Florida pederast Jeffrey Epstein for sexually assaulting her when she was 13 years old.
Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton (top, l to r), with George W. Bush, Obama and Trump below (Wayne Madsen Report graphic)
Child-Trafficking, Abuse (General News, Commentary)
National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is observed annually on January 11. Beginning in 2010, by Presidential Proclamation, each January has been designated National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Following the start of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, with the help of non-government organizations, National Human Trafficking Day began and is observed annually on January 11.
Washington Post, In this #MeToo, moment, let’s not forget abused children, Adam Rosenberg and Joyce Lombardi, Jan. 19, 2018. In this #MeToo and #TimesUp moment, just as we’ve been shocked by the abuse, we are also disturbed by the enablers, the seemingly good people who either knew or strongly suspected that something foul was afoot but chose not to act.
It is utterly human for otherwise good people to look away and to give themselves a dozen reasons (such as disbelief and self-interest) for doing so. This is especially true — and damaging — in cases of child abuse. Unfortunately, predators do not stop until they have to. And that is precisely why every state requires adults, especially front-line workers such as teachers and nurses, to report suspected child abuse.
Even when they don’t want to.
Adam Rosenberg is executive director of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center. Joyce Lombardi is director of government relations and legal services at the Baltimore Child Abuse Center.
Huffington Post, Dylan Farrow: Woody Allen Sexually Abused Me While I Played With Toys, Hayley Miller, Jan. 18, 2018. The filmmaker’s adopted daughter leveled molestation allegations in her first TV interview. Dylan Farrow is opening up about what she says was sexual abuse by her adoptive father, filmmaker Woody Allen, when she was 7 years old.
In her first TV interview, Farrow, 32, alleged Allen sexually assaulted her in the Connecticut home of actress Mia Farrow, her adoptive mother.
“I was taken to a small attic crawl space,” Farrow said in an interview with “CBS This Morning” that aired Thursday. “He instructed me to lay down on my stomach and play with my brother’s toy train that was set up, and he sat behind me in the doorway. And, as I played with the toy train, I was sexually assaulted.”
She continued: “As 7-year-old, I would say he touched my private parts. As a 32-year-old, he touched my labia and my vulva with his finger.” Allen has denied the allegation.
Other Trump-Related Coverage, News Sources (Latest at top)
Epstein Arrest, Trump Connection
New York Times, Jeffrey Epstein, Billionaire Long Accused of Molesting Minors, Is Charged, Patricia Mazzei and William K. Rashbaum
July 7, 2019 (print ed.). Jeffrey E. Epstein, a billionaire New York financier long accused of molesting dozens of girls, was arrested on Saturday and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors, an extraordinary turn of events in a long and sordid criminal case. Mr. Epstein, right, who was charged with sex trafficking, had avoided federal criminal charges a decade ago in a widely criticized plea deal.
Mr. Epstein, 66, had avoided federal criminal charges in 2007 and 2008 in a widely criticized plea deal whose lenient terms continue to roil the Justice Department and are facing new scrutiny in the #MeToo era.
Before the plea deal, Mr. Epstein, a former hedge-fund manager, had been friendly with Donald J. Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
He pleaded guilty to lesser state charges of soliciting prostitution, served 13 months in a county lockup and registered as a sex offender. His jail arrangement allowed him to get out of the Palm Beach County Stockade six days a week to work out of his office.
Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Epstein busted by feds at New Jersey airport, Wayne Madsen, July 8, 2019 (subscription required). Epstein, who, according to a joint report by WMR and the Justice Integrity Project in Washington, allegedly raped a 12-year old girl named Maria and a 13-year old, Katie Johnson, the latter a pseudonym, has been charged by federal prosecutors in New York with one count of sex trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
Secret UK View Of Trump Revealed
Palmer Report, Opinion: Donald Trump gets slam dunked by UK Ambassador to the United States, Bill Palmer, July 7, 2019. The Daily Mail published secret memos in which UK Ambassador to the United States Kim Darroch used words like “inept” and “insecure” and “incompetent” to describe Trump. The Daily Mail is a tabloid, but the UK government has since confirmed to CNN that the leaked memos are in fact the real thing. So now what?
Darroch is a professional diplomat, so it’s literally his job to pretend in public that an idiot like Donald Trump is not an idiot. He’s the last person who would publicly criticize Trump, no matter how he felt. These memos reveal that he felt compelled to document Trump’s idiocy in private, while discussing with his government how to deal with Trump. Darroch may or may not lose his job over this leak, as it could be difficult for him to continue interfacing with the U.S. government now that it’s been exposed that he thoroughly insulted the President of the United States. But to be clear, Darroch was just doing his job.
This incident serves as the latest reminder that Donald Trump is so uniquely and cartoonishly bad at this, America’s allies have been placed in a no-win situation when it comes to trying to work with him or work around him. On the other hand, America’s enemies have had little problem figuring out how to use Trump’s ineptness and idiocy to gain a leg-up on the United States.
Accused repeat pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, left, with Donald Trump in a 1990s photo at Mar-a-Lago held up last weekend by a protester (Getty images)
Raw Story, Protester targeted by Trump for his ‘long hair’ calls him out again for palling around with a pedophile, Noor Al-Sibair, June 25, 2018. The man-bunned protester singled out by Donald Trump for his hairstyle at a rally in Minnesota on June 20 has spoken out against the president once again for his known ties to billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
“Sorry for interrupting your little rally in Duluth,” activist and comedian Sam Spadino (shown in a screenshot from the rally) wrote in an open letter to Trump for the Minneapolis – St. Paul alternative weekly City Pages. “My friend and I just wanted to ask you a question, and figured in person was the best way to do it since you’re a busy guy, and no ‘fake news’ reporters have brought it up lately.”
“My question, in case you missed it on the sign, is ‘Who is Jeffrey Epstein?’” he continued. “You answered the question once in the October 28, 2002 issue of NY Magazine, saying: ‘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. No doubt about it: Jeffrey enjoys his social life.’”
“When you said that ‘he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side,’ did you mean younger than 16?” Spadino continued. “Did you know that at least one of his victims was 14 years old?”
He went on to detail Epstein’s insidious resume: a billionaire who, as The Daily Beast pointed out after the Duluth, MN rally, has been accused of “a pedophile ring of dozens of underage girls, whom he groomed and then loaned out to powerful friends.” He was charged in Florida and spent 13 months in prison there for “Procuring Any Person Under Age Of 16 For Prostitution,” and is considered a Level Three sex offender in the state due to his likelihood for re-offending.
Though Epstein has also been connected to other famous men (and alleged abusers and assaulters) including Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen and Bill Clinton, Spadino noted that “none of them were named in a lawsuit together, like [Trump was], in Jane Doe v. Donald J. Trump and Jeffrey E. Epstein, filed in New York in June 2016.”
“That lawsuit goes into great detail about what you and your buddy were allegedly up to with two female children ‘on the younger side,’” he wrote of the suit detailing the two powerful mens’ alleged assault of a girl who was 13 years old at the time.
“Every time Jeffrey comes up I have more questions, but the only response you gave me was in the form an insult,” Spadino wrote. “I know seeing a picture of yourself next to a convicted pedophile is probably not a great look for someone who has recently been putting immigrant kids in cages, but I expected a better comeback from you than a ‘cut your hair, hippie’ knockoff. Weak.”
“I am glad you mentioned my “man-bun” however,” he wrote, because “this story would have gotten no press if you had just held your tongue.”
Washington Post, What should scare us about Trump’s porn star scandal, Molly Roberts, Jan. 21, 2018 (print edition). It’s not the sex, it’s the secrecy.
The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday that a lawyer for Donald Trump paid an adult-film actress $130,000 one month before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with the then-candidate 10 years earlier.
Adult performer Jessica Drake accused Trump of offering her $10,000 for sex the same year he allegedly slept with Daniels, and she claims she can’t say more because of a nondisclosure agreement. And, according to a separate Journal story from just four days before the election, the company that owns the Trump-friendly National Enquirer awarded a former Playboy centerfold model $150,000 for the rights to her story of an affair with Trump in, yes, 2006 again. Then, the tabloid quashed it.
The problem here isn’t Trump’s repeated ethical lapses alone, although they do induce a certain squeamishness. The problem is the possibility of blackmail against a presidential team willing to pay big to cover up misbehavior.
New York Times, Congressman Combating Harassment Settled His Own Misconduct Case, Katie Rogers and Kenneth P. Vogel, Jan. 21, 2018 (printed edition). Rep. Patrick Meehan, a Pennsylvania Republican who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making unwanted romantic overtures to her, according to several people familiar with the settlement.
A married father of three, Mr. Meehan, 62, had long expressed interest in the personal life of the aide, who was decades younger and had regarded the congressman as a father figure, according to three people who worked with the office and four others with whom she discussed her tenure there.
As a member of the Ethics Committee, Mr. Meehan was tasked with being a part of the solution. The panel has initiated investigations into sexual misconduct claims against at least four congressmen in recent months. Two have resigned: Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona, and John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan. The other two, Blake Farenthold, Republican of Texas, and Ruben Kihuen, a freshman Democrat from Nevada, remain in office but have said they will not seek re-election.
Washington Post, The case for taking the Trump-Stormy Daniels saga seriously, Aaron Blake, Jan. 20, 2018 (print edition). It’s salacious, yes. But the story seems to have gone beyond tabloid fluff and it’s worth asking some very serious questions.
By Friday, the magazine InTouch published what it said was a previously unpublished 2011 interview with Daniels (shown with Trump in a publicity photo) in which she describes having sex with Trump in 2006, when he was newly married to Melania Trump, who is now first lady.
What’s perhaps most notable about the interview is how many of the details deal with things that weren’t and aren’t widely known about Trump.
Washington Post, ‘I’ll give her a week’ to lose the baby weight, Trump said of Melania, months before alleged tryst with porn star, Callum Borchers, Jan. 19, 2018. Seven months before an alleged tryst with porn star Stormy Daniels, Donald Trump told radio host Howard Stern that he would give his pregnant wife, Melania (shown at a 2017 Inaugural ball), a couple of days — or maybe a week — to regain her model figure after giving birth.
“You know, Howard, she’s got the kind of a body and makeup where, about one day after the baby, it’s going to be the same as it was before,” Trump said during an appearance on Stern’s show on Dec. 7, 2005.
“You’re giving her one day?” Stern asked.
“One or two,” Trump replied.
Vox, Stormy Daniels: Donald Trump’s alleged porn star affair and hush money scandal explained, Dylan Matthews, Jan. 19, 2018. In July 2006, Donald Trump allegedly had a “sexual encounter” with adult film star Stormy Daniels (shown with Trump in file photos) following a celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe, and, the month before the 2016 presidential election, reportedly sent her a $130,000 payment through his lawyer as hush money to keep the matter private.
That claim, first reported on January 12, 2018, by the Wall Street Journal, is explosive enough to conceivably topple just about any other politician. Infidelity, and attempts to cover up infidelity, ended the careers or forced the resignations of former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards (left), former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Republican Sen. John Ensign, and Republican Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama(below right), just to name a few from the past decade.
But this is Donald Trump we’re talking about. When the Journal blockbuster landed, it was competing for space with Trump’s labeling of Haiti, El Salvador, and seemingly all countries of Africa as “shithole” countries, ongoing congressional negotiations around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, and the Journal’s own bizarre interview with Trump and his subsequent claims that the Journal mis-transcribed his statements about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
If anyone is capable of somehow making an affair with a porn star into a non-story, it’s Donald Trump.
By the following week, Trump’s physical health exam and attempts to evade a government shutdown were dominating political news.
The Stormy Daniels scandal, however, continues to mount. On Wednesday, the celebrity news magazine In Touch published an interview with Daniels conducted in 2011 in which she says she had an affair with Trump, including sex after that golf event. Subsequent reporting by the Wall Street Journal revealed that Trump attorney Michael Cohen set up shell companies through which to make the $130,000 payment to Daniels.
Other reports have suggested that multiple news outlets, including Fox News and Slate, had the story before the 2016 election and didn’t report or publish it. And Daniels might not be the only woman Trump silenced with a nondisclosure agreement.
Washington Post, Why are we only now hearing of a porn star’s tale about Trump? Paul Farhi, Jan. 18, 2018 (print edition). Journalists said they held back on a story that Stormy Daniels had allegedly had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006 because they couldn’t independently corroborate key elements of the account, including in one instance from Daniels herself. Several journalists surely knew who Stormy Daniels was in 2016, and it probably wasn’t because they’d seen her in one of the many porn films she’d made.
The adult-film actress (shown in a New York Daily News cover with a reported quotation from Trump referencing his daughter) was on the radar of a number of mainstream news outlets in the waning days of the presidential campaign. Reporters from ABC, Fox News, the Daily Beast and Slate.com were pursuing a potentially explosive story: that Daniels had allegedly had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, only months after Trump’s wife, Melania, had given birth to their son, Barron.
Yet no one went with the story.
Mediaite, Stormy Daniels Reportedly Spanked Trump With A Copy of Forbes Magazine, Rachel Dicker, Jan. 18, 2018. In the wake of a Wall Street Journal article that alleges Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid off porn star Stormy Daniels (shown with Trump in a screengrab) to keep quiet about a 2006 sexual encounter with now-president Donald Trump, several other stories about Daniels’ rendezvous with Trump have surfaced – including one account that she spanked Trump with a copy of Forbes.
Mother Jones reports that during a May 2009 “listening tour” of Louisiana when considering a run for Senate, Daniels compiled a list of potential campaign contributors, all of whom came from contacts in her cell phone, and one of whom was Donald Trump.
Upon receiving this list, one consultant expressed surprise that Trump’s number was in Daniels’ cell phone. Another consultant named Andrea Dubé, who confirmed the veracity of this exchange to Mother Jones, replied: “She says one time he made her sit with him for three hours watching ‘shark week.’ Another time he had her spank him with a Forbes magazine.”
New Republic, The Triumph of Porn Over Social Conservatism, Jeet Heer, Jan. 17, 2018. Why Trump’s alleged affairs with erotic stars aren’t hurting him on the right. Trump’s ascendency over the Republican Party marks a little noticed, but real shift in American politics: Social conservatives, who once led the crusade against smut, have made their peace with a porn-saturated culture.
Pornography was a political hot button topic from the 1960s until the 1990s, when changes in censorship law and new technologies like video recording made erotic imagery much more pervasive. Along with opposing abortion and gay rights, being anti-porn was one of the key organizing principles of the religious right.
In 1997, Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell spoke for many social conservatives when he told CNN, “pornography hurts anyone who reads it, garbage in, garbage out. I think when you feed that stuff into your mind, it definitely affects your relationship with your spouse, your attitude towards life, morality.” But today, Jerry Falwell’s son, Jerry Falwell Jr., is one of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters. (In 2016, he was photographed at Trump’s office in front of a framed copy of a Playboy cover featuring Trump.)
It’s easy for liberals to decry the hypocrisy of Republicans, the putative party of family values, embracing Trump as its avatar.
But there is no real hypocrisy here. The core value is patriarchy, which can take different forms. There is an older patriarchy which wears the mask of chivalry, and offers women protection in exchange for submissiveness.
But the age of chivalry is no more. We now have raw patriarchy, which asserts its rights through naked displays of power. And the president, with his porn star mistresses, his boasting of sexual assaults, and even his phallic tweets about the size of his nuclear button, is the perfect leader for conservatives’ post-chivalric world.
Washington Post, Opinion: Staffers at The Hill press management about the work of John Solomon, Erik Wemple Jan. 17, 2018. A group of newsroom staffers at The Hill have complained to management about stories written by John Solomon, the publication’s executive vice president of digital video. The complaints were launched in December when Solomon and reporter Alison Spann broke a story under this headline: “Exclusive: Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump accusers.”
The gist of Solomon and Spann’s story: Prominent California lawyer Lisa Bloom worked to secure payments for women who “made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump during the final months of the 2016 presidential race.” The story cited “documents and interviews,” plus the on-the-record explanations by Bloom herself.
The story impressed the conservative media world. Fox News host Sean Hannity called it a “bombshell report,” while conservative websites aggregated away.
A New York Times story two weeks later noted that accuser-financing arrangements weren’t invented for the Trump era: Paula Jones’s harassment lawsuit against Bill Clinton received funding from the Rutherford Institute.
The Hill, Adult film star: Trump cheated with me, Rebecca Savransky, Jan. 17, 2018. A former adult film star in the past claimed that President Trump had sex with her in 2006, when he was married to first lady Melania Trump.
In Touch published excerpts from an interview Wednesday it conducted in 2011 with Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford. In the excerpts, Daniels talks about a sexual encounter she says she had with Trump in 2006.
“[The sex] was textbook generic,” Daniels said. “I actually don’t even know why I did it, but I do remember while we were having sex, I was like, ‘Please, don’t try to pay me.’ ” Daniels told the publication in 2011 that after the encounter, Trump (shown in an Apprentice publicity photo) kept saying: “ ‘I’m gonna call you, I’m gonna call you. I have to see you again. You’re amazing. We have to get you on The Apprentice.’”
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Trump arranged a six-figure payment to Daniels to keep her from discussing a sexual encounter with Trump. A White House official declined to comment to the Journal about the payment, but said that the allegations of the interaction between Trump and Daniels were “old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election.”
New York Times, Porn Star Was Reportedly Paid to Stay Quiet About Trump, Megan Twohey and Jim Rutenberg, Jan. 13, 2018 (print edition). A lawyer for President Trump orchestrated a $130,000 payment to a pornographic-film actress in October 2016 to prevent her from going public with claims of a consensual sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The reported payment came shortly before the presidential election and as the actress, Stephanie Clifford, 38, was discussing sharing her account with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and the online magazine Slate, according to interviews, notes and text messages reviewed by The New York Times.
Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of the Slate Group, said on Friday that in a series of interviews with Ms. Clifford in August and October 2016, she told him she had an affair with Mr. Trump after meeting him at a 2006 celebrity golf tournament.
She told him that Michael D. Cohen, a lawyer for Mr. Trump (and shown in a screen grab), had agreed during the presidential campaign to pay her the $130,000 if she kept the relationship secret, Mr. Weisberg said, adding that Ms. Clifford had told him she was tempted to go public because the lawyer was late in making the payment and she feared he might back out of their agreement.
Daily Beast, Trump Accuser Jessica Drake Has an NDA Preventing Her from Talking About Donald Trump, Marlow Stern and Aurora Snow, Jan. 13, 2018. The porn star came forward to accuse then-candidate Trump of sexual misconduct in October 2016.
The Daily Beast was informed late Friday that porn star Jessica Drake (shown with Trump in a previous publicity photo published by The Daily Beast) is not allowed to discuss President Donald J. Trump on account of a non-disclosure agreement she signed barring her from any such talk. NDAs are often deployed as part of settlements to silence accusers.
“Jessica’s NDA blankets any and every mention of Trump, so she’s legally unable to comment,” her publicist informed The Daily Beast. “Jessica signed a non-disclosure agreement after her allegations of misconduct, and she can’t do as much as peep his name publicly.”
The White House has not yet responded to requests for comment.
In late October 2016, Drake became the 14th woman to accuse then-candidate Trump of sexual misconduct. At a public press conference, Drake, flanked by her attorney Gloria Allred, claimed that after she met Trump in July 2006 at Nevada’s American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, where she was working a promotional booth on behalf of the adult film company Wicked Pictures, he made a pass at her. Trump’s wife, Melania, had recently given birth to their son Barron at the time.
She alleged that Trump later called her and asked, “’What do you want? How much?” and then offered her $10,000 for sex. “This is not acceptable behavior for anyone, much less a presidential candidate,” Drake said at the presser.
Palmer Report, Analysis: Donald Trump propositioned three different porn actresses for extramarital sex in the same weekend, Bill Palmer, Jan. 12, 2018. Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal reported that Donald Trump had consensual sex with porn actress Stormy Daniels at a Lake Tahoe event in 2006, and that he later paid her during the election to keep it quiet. Another porn actress, Jessica Drake, previously accused Trump of inappropriately touching her and unsuccessfully offering her $10,000 for sex during that same event. Now a third porn actress says Trump propositioned her for sex during that same weekend.
Alana Evans is confirming to the Daily Beast that Trump and Daniels (shown in a New York Daily News front page story on Jan. 13, 2018) had sex during that lake Tahoe event. How does she know? She was also at the event, and they called her on the phone and asked her to join them for a threesome (link). Evans declined the offer. She says that she spoke with Daniels the next day, and Daniels confirmed that sexual activity did take place between them. This stands in direct contrast to the statement produced by Trump’s attorney today, supposedly written and signed by Daniels, which disputes that any of it occurred.
Daily Beast, Porn Star: Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels Invited Me to Their Hotel Room, Alana Evans. Marlow Stern and Aurora Snow, Jan. 12, 2018. ‘I ended up with Donald in his hotel room. Picture him chasing me around his hotel room in his tighty-whities,’ Stormy Daniels told fellow porn star.
The Daily Beast had also been in protracted talks with Daniels about arranging an interview after three sources — including fellow porn star Alana Evans — told The Daily Beast that Daniels and Trump were involved. She ultimately backed out on Nov. 3, just five days before the 2016 election.
Cohen on Friday did not address the alleged payout to Daniels but provided the following statement to The Daily Beast: “These rumors have circulated time and again since 2011. President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.” The attorney also provided a letter dated Jan. 10, 2018, allegedly signed by Daniels, that denied any “sexual and/or romantic affair” with Trump or the receipt of any “hush money” from Trump.
Business Insider, Steve Bannon suggests Trump’s lawyer ‘took care’ of ‘a hundred’ women during the presidential campaign, Eliza Relman, Jan. 12, 2018. Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former top strategist, alleged in journalist Michael Wolff’s tell-all book (Fire and Fury) about the Trump White House that the president’s longtime attorney, Marc Kasowitz, “took care” of 100 women during the presidential campaign.
“Look, Kasowitz has known [Trump] for twenty-five years. Kasowitz has gotten him out of all kinds of jams,” Bannon reportedly said. “Kasowitz on the campaign – what did we have, a hundred women? Kasowitz [shown below at left] took care of all of them.”
This apparently off-hand remark may take on new significance after The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that another lawyer for the president, Michael Cohen, sent $130,000 to a porn star just weeks before the 2016 presidential election to keep her silent about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.
Wall Street Journal, Trump Lawyer Arranged $130,000 Payment for Adult-Film Star’s Silence, Michael Rothfeld and Joe Palazzolo, Jan. 12, 2018. Agreement just before election required woman to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, people familiar with the matter say.
A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.
Michael Cohen, who spent nearly a decade as a top attorney for the Trump Organization, arranged payment to the woman, Stephanie Clifford, in October, 2016 after her lawyer negotiated the nondisclosure agreement with Mr. Cohen, these people said.
New York Daily News, Politicians, advocacy groups react to Trump blasting Caribbean and African immigrants from ‘s–thole countries,’ Megan Cerullo, Jan. 12, 2018 (print edition). Social media erupted Thursday after President Trump slammed protections for immigrants from “s–thole countries” in the Caribbean and Africa, while some leaders chose to ignore his controversial remarks.
“Why are we having all these people from s–thole countries come here?” the President reportedly griped during an Oval Office meeting Thursday afternoon. Advocacy group leaders called Trump’s comments “racist” but chose not to focus on his latest attack on immigrants. “How does one even react to that?” said Ninaj Raoul, co-founder of Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (HWHR,) told the Daily News Thursday.
“I think these are all distractions from the real issues around immigration,” Raoul said. “I just think there is only right thing to do and I think a lot of this name calling is just a distraction as the President has done on other issues. It comes almost daily,” she said.
Washington Post, Trump’s history of making offensive comments about nonwhite immigrants, Eugene Scott, Jan. 12, 2018 (printed edition). This is not the first time that Trump’s remarks about immigrants, refugees and their homelands have raised eyebrows.
Down With Tyranny, Welcome To Waterbury: The City That Holds Secrets That Could Bring Down Trump, Guest post by Andrew Kreig and Wayne Madsen, Jan. 11, 2018 (republished).
The Hill, Dems to invite sexual assault survivors as guests to Trump’s State of the Union: report, Brandon Carter, Jan. 10, 2018. Some House Democrats are planning to invite sexual assault survivors as their guests to President Trump’s first State of the Union address, according to a new report.
An aide to Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) told NBC News that some Democrats are planning the invitations to bring awareness to the issue. “Some members will be bringing survivors of sexual assault and advocates as their guests,” the aide told NBC News.
The report comes on the heels of Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), shown at right, saying Tuesday that she and other female House members are inviting lawmakers to weak black to Trump’s State of the Union in solidarity with the anti-sexual harassment “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movements.
“This is a culture change that is sweeping the country and Congress is embracing it,” Speier told The Hill in a statement. Speier said the Democratic Women’s Working Group, which includes all of the female House members, was encouraging lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to wear black to the event, and that support is very high.
More than a dozen women came forward to publicly accuse Trump of sexual harassment during the 2016 presidential campaign. Last month, three of the women banded together for the first time to call for a congressional investigation into Trump.
Other Recent Harassment, Assault-Related News Reports, Sources
(Shown in reverse chronological order)
Poynter Institute, To tell the stories of sexual assault victims, it’s time for a new look at anonymity policies, Kelly McBride, Jan. 29, 2018. Poynter Institute Vice President Kelly McBride is a leading expert on covering sexual assault, suicide and mental health issues, plagiarism, and the connection between an ethical press and a strong democracy. This column (excerpted below) is part of the Institute’s ongoing instructional program for journalists.
I’ve encouraged innovative storytelling around the issue of rape and sexual assault as long as I’ve worked at Poynter. And I found the technique stunning. For too long, we’ve failed as journalists to listen to victims of sexual assault and let them tell their stories. This moment presents an opportunity to change our approach.
First, we should acknowledge where we are and where we’ve been. Here’s an abbreviated history of how the media has covered sexual assault:
1990. Under the leadership of executive editor Geneva Overholser, the Des Moines Register publishes a five-part narrative series documenting the story of Nancy Ziegenmeyer, who was raped by a stranger during a home invasion. The series wins the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Overholser went on to argue that until we routinely named victims of sexual assault, we would never change the stigma associated with the crime.
Mid 2000s. After a series of kidnappings in which the names and photos of victims were widely published in hopes of rescuing them, the media must wrestle with the question of whether they should stop naming a victim if it is later discovered she was raped. (Yes, you should, most news outlets decide.)
2011. The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, begins publishing stories about an investigation into Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. He is indicted later that year for assaulting young boys, and the newspaper wins a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. For the most part, the victims remained anonymous in news stories.
2014. Dozens of women accuse actor Bill Cosby of sexual assault and agree to be named in various news outlets, including the cover of New York Magazine.
2017. Dozens of women accuse Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and in some cases sexual assault. Many agree to be named.
2017. The #MeToo movement takes root, and workplaces across the country investigate a plague of sexual harassment that sometimes includes sexual assault.
2018. More than 150 victims, most of them accomplished gymnasts, testify at the sentencing of Nassar, who worked for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. Most of them agree to be named. Some of them are famous Olympic athletes.
Current-day practice at most newsrooms doesn’t match the guidance in most written policies.
Those policies — and I know because I’ve written and consulted on many of them — often look like they did back in 1975: Because of the stigma associated with sexual assault, we do not publish the names of victims. Some of the more enlightened policies add: against their will. And the best policies include encouragement for journalists to seek out the voices of sexual assault victims in order to tell their stories.
I’m not suggesting we in journalism should start naming victims of sexual assault without their permission. But we should rewrite our policies to encourage journalists to tell more complete stories about sexual assault.
Today’s policies presume that our journalistic motive for telling a sexual assault story is rooted in our urge to improve public safety. But sexual assault isn’t really a public safety problem; it’s a public health problem.
Rewrite your policies about naming victims of sexual assault. Include these points:
- Because sexual assault is a public health threat, we have an obligation to cover it thoroughly.
- Because children are commonly victims of sexual assault, we should hold our schools and medical facilities and law enforcement systems accountable for their protection.
- We should give victims of sexual assault a chance to tell their stories, treating them with respect and dignity.
- We should ensure that our journalistic values of fairness and accuracy are extended to those accused of sexual assault.
New York Times, Congressman Combating Harassment Settled His Own Misconduct Case, Katie Rogers and Kenneth P. Vogel, Jan. 20, 2018. Rep. Patrick Meehan, a Pennsylvania Republican who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making unwanted romantic overtures to her, according to several people familiar with the settlement.
A married father of three, Mr. Meehan, 62, had long expressed interest in the personal life of the aide, who was decades younger and had regarded the congressman as a father figure, according to three people who worked with the office and four others with whom she discussed her tenure there.
As a member of the Ethics Committee, Mr. Meehan was tasked with being a part of the solution. The panel has initiated investigations into sexual misconduct claims against at least four congressmen in recent months. Two have resigned: Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona, and John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan. The other two, Blake Farenthold, Republican of Texas, and Ruben Kihuen, a freshman Democrat from Nevada, remain in office but have said they will not seek re-election.
Washington Post, Los Angeles Times CEO and publisher investigated for inappropriate, ‘frat-house’ behavior, Samantha Schmidt, Jan. 19, 2018. The Los Angeles Times chief executive and publisher is the latest media executive under investigation for inappropriate behavior, following an extensive NPR report.
Tronc, the parent company of the Los Angeles Times, began investigating Ross Levinsohn on Thursday after NPR reported he had been named a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits as an executive at two different companies, Alta Vista and News Corp, before joining the Times. Levinsohn’s former colleagues and employees described him as a party-loving executive who created a fraternity-like environment, often making women feel uncomfortable.
Washington Post, Olympian Simone Biles says she was abused by USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, Bryan Flaherty, Jan. 15, 2018. Simone Biles (shown in a file photo), a four-time Olympic gold medalist, said in a statement that she, too, was sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, adding her name to the list of more than 140 women, including fellow Team USA members Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney, who have accused Nassar of abuse during his time with the sport’s governing body and while at Michigan State.
“I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” Biles, 20, wrote. “Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper. There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault.
“It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the ‘special’ treatment. This behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust.”
Nassar, shown at left in a court hearing with his attorney, has been sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges. He also has pleaded guilty to seven sexual assault charges in Michigan and faces sentencing beginning Tuesday.
As part of his plea agreement, the minimum sentence range for the charges involving a victim who was younger than 13 will be set between 25 and 40 years; he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison on those charges. The Michigan attorney general’s office is seeking a sentence of 40 to 125 years.
WhoWhatWhy, After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Faces Indifference, WhoWhatWhy Staff, Jan. 4, 2018. More than 100 years ago, in September of 1899, a category 4 hurricane hit Puerto Rico, killing 3400 people. A headline in the New York Times revealed the attitude of the day: SUFFERING IN PUERTO RICO: Hurricane Deprived Lower Classes of All Means of Livelihood; MANY PEONS ARE STARVING.
Such expressions — “lower classes”, “peons”— are painful to our modern, presumably enlightened sensibilities, but they are used in private by far too many people in the US today. And we wonder if the attitude reflected by these words is the real reason why the US government has done so little to save Puerto Rico. A statement signed by over 200 scholars, professors, writers, and Latin American experts contains these heartbreaking words: “Efforts are delayed for a population that the federal government considers expendable.”
The situation is of course much more complicated. Below we present a small collection of insightful comments from a variety of sources on the issue. While it is complex, it is also tragically simple.
Puerto Ricans are not citizens like the rest of us, because Puerto Rico is not a state. It is a so-called commonwealth of the United States, whose people are denied electoral representation in the federal government that decides their political destiny: no voice in Congress, no vote in Presidential elections. This arrangement, born of America’s conquest of the island, in the Spanish-American War, makes the islanders more like colonial subjects than citizens of a democratic republic. They are, in effect, second-class citizens.
Vanity Fair, “I Have Power”: Is Steve Bannon Running for President? Gabriel Sherman, Dec. 21, 2017. On a whirlwind tour around the globe, Trump’s former aide and alter ego (shown in a file photo) reveals what really went down in the White House, his unfettered thoughts on Javanka, his complicated relationship with his erstwhile boss — and his own political ambitions.
….The siege on Roy Moore’s campaign continued. The previous day, Ivanka Trump [shown in her Twitter photo] told the Associated Press “there’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.”
Bannon was incredulous she’d make the comment. “What about the allegations about her dad and that 13-year-old?” he said, referring to the California woman who alleged Trump raped her when she was a teen (the suit has since been dropped.) “Ivanka was a fount of bad advice during the campaign.” (Emphasis added.)
Washington Post, A new sisterhood of Trump’s accusers pushes for action, Frances Stead Sellers and Mark Berman, Dec. 18, 2017 (print edition) (video: 2:51 mins.). Trump’s accusers speak out, again: ‘This time, the environment’s different.’
Rachel Crooks and Samantha Holvey had never met. But through a twist of fate, they became players this week at the center of a national political storm over sexual misconduct that has now reached President Trump. Both women have accused Trump of inappropriate advances earlier in his career, and a liberal film producer brought them together for the first time Sunday evening at a private dinner in Manhattan.
Huffington Post, Sen. Joe Manchin Says He’s ‘Moved On’ From Trump Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Alanna Vagianos, Dec. 18, 2017. Alabama’s Democratic Sen.-elect Doug Jones also urged Congress to “move on.” Manchin (a Democrat from West Virginia, shown at right) appeared on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday morning to discuss the recent ethics investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). During the conversation, Manchin also commented on the numerous accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump.
Independent, Donald Trump says women who accuse him of sexual assault are lying, Tom Embury-Dennis, Dec. 12, 2017. President also accuses Democrats of wasting ‘thousands of hours’ over Mueller investigation. Donald Trump says attempts to have Congress investigate allegations of sexual assault against him are based on “false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met”.
In the same tweet, Mr Trump accused Democrats of “thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent” over the Mueller investigation that has been “unable to show any collusion with Russia.”
The President has been accused by 16 women of sexual misconduct.
At a press conference on Monday four of them shared their first-hand experiences of Mr Trump. Samantha Holvey, a former beauty queen who claimed the 71-year-old ogled her and other Miss USA pageant contestants in their dressing room in 2006, said his election was “heartbreaking.”
Another described how Mr Trump allegedly tried to kiss and put his hand up her skirt during a flight in the 1970s. Rachel Crooks, a former Trump Tower receptionist who said the billionaire kissed her on the mouth without consent in 2006, called for Congress to “put aside party affiliations and investigate Trump’s history of sexual misconduct.”
Donald Trump, Arianne Zucker, Billy Bush in screenshot from the now-notorius Access Hollywood tape released in 2016
New York Times, Billy Bush: Yes, Donald Trump, You Said That, Billy Bush, Dec. 4, 2017 (print edition). The president is currently engaging in some revisionist history. He said it. “Grab ’em by the pussy.”
Of course he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator. Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real.
Washington Post, Trump may face a reckoning in case brought by former ‘Apprentice’ contestant, Frances Stead Sellers, Dec. 4, 2017. If a defamation case proceeds to trial, attorneys for Summer Zervos, who had been a contestant on the reality show, could gather and make public incidents from Trump’s past, and the president could be called to testify, with the unwelcome specter of a former president looming over him: Bill Clinton.
Washington Post, President Trump and accusations of sexual misconduct: The complete list, Meg Kelly, Nov. 22, 2017. At least 13 women have accused the president of sexual misconduct. Many of the accusations surfaced after the release of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape of Trump speaking graphically about kissing and groping women uninvited. Here’s the complete list, with their evidence.
Trump vociferously has taken aim at accused Democrats, while apparently giving a pass to Republicans. Moreover, it was only a year ago that similar accusations against Trump dominated the headlines, with more than a dozen women accusing Trump of improper conduct or sexual assault. Many of the accusations surfaced after the release of a 2005 tape of Trump speaking graphically about kissing and groping women uninvited.
Washington Post, The man missing from the sexual assault conversation: President Trump, James Downie, Nov. 21, 2017. Donald Trump just can’t help himself. For almost two weeks, he kept largely silent about allegations that Roy Moore (shown in a campaign photo at right), the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, molested underage women when he was in his 30s.
But on Tuesday, the president came out against Moore’s Democratic opponent Doug Jones, arguing that “we don’t need a liberal person in [the Senate seat], a Democrat.” And besides, Trump told reporters, “He says it didn’t happen and you have to listen to him, also.”
Washington Post, Collins airs concern about harassment charges against the president, Sarah Kaplan and Sean Sullivan, Nov. 19, 2017. Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) went further Sunday than most of her Republican colleagues in expressing worry about the sexual assault allegations against President Trump, saying they were one of the reasons she did not vote for him.
New York Times, Trump, Who Has Faced His Own Sexual Harassment Accusations, Scolds Franken, Michael D. Shear, Nov. 16, 2017. In a pair of tweets late Thursday night, President Trump weighed in on the sexual assault allegation against Senator Al Franken, a Democrat representing Minnesota (shown at right).
New Yorker, Listening to What Trump’s Accusers Have Told Us, Jia Tolentino, Nov. 9, 2017. The public narrative of Trump’s sexually predatory behavior begins in 1993, with Harry Hurt’s book The Lost Tycoon, which included details from a 1990 divorce deposition in which Ivana Trump described her husband violently raping her in Trump Tower, in a fit of anger over a botched scalp surgery. In a statement provided to Hurt, Ivana walked back her claim without denying it; she didn’t mean that Trump raped her in a “literal or criminal” sense, she said.
The story reappeared in May, 2016, when the Times published accounts from two women describing nonconsensual encounters with Trump, and then it flared fully back to life in October of that year, with the “Access Hollywood” tape, a recording of a 2005 conversation in which Trump bragged about habitually committing sexual assault. By the end of October, twenty women had gone on the record to describe Trump’s sexual misconduct. Twelve of them recounted being physically violated, corroborating Trump’s own description of his behavior — he grabbed women by the pussy, he said to Billy Bush, because he could.
I reread the piece I wrote last year about all of this, and it felt a little humiliating. It was clear that I had been so upset, and so full of trust in the weight of moral narrative, that I felt sure Trump would not be able to win the Presidency. And, over the past year, I realized, I had also allowed myself to forget the sheer repulsiveness of some of Trump’s offhand comments about women: that he told his friends to “be rougher” with their wives, that he seemed to regularly joke about dating teen-agers. I recently shared the piece on Twitter and received more than two hundred replies, many of which asked the same sort of question: Why isn’t anyone doing anything about this? Why don’t these women press charges against the President? Why don’t they get together and sue him? Where are all these accusers now?
It seems almost cruel to wish, at this point, that these women would keep speaking. They already did. They told the public that Trump grabbed them and groped them. They gave the details of where and when; they spoke about how it had affected them. A poll last October found that sixty-eight per cent of registered voters believed their stories. Only fourteen per cent believed that Trump had not made unwanted sexual advances toward women. So it’s not that we didn’t hear Trump’s accusers, or even that we didn’t believe them. We knew that they weren’t lying, and we elected him anyway. Our response when victims speak up now has to be shaped by the magnitude of that failure.
Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Previously, she was the deputy editor at Jezebel and a contributing editor at the Hairpin. Her essays and criticism have appeared in the Times Magazine, Grantland, the Awl, Pitchfork, The Fader, Time, and Slate.
Washington Post, Trump was expressing political opinion by calling sexual-harassment accusers ‘liars,’ his attorneys argue, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Mark Berman, Nov. 1, 2017.
Washington Post, All of the women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying, the White House says, John Wagner, Oct. 26, 2017.All the women who have accused President Trump of sexual harassment are lying, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday when asked for the official White House position on the issue.
Jeffrey Epstein, Donald Trump and Alexander Acosta
Palm Beach Post, Jeffrey Epstein paid 3 women $5.5 million to end sex lawsuits, Jane Musgrave, Oct. 3, 2017. Ending years of speculation about how much Palm Beach billionaire Jeffrey Epstein paid young women who claimed he used them as sex toys, court documents filed last week show he shelled out $5.5 million to settle lawsuits with three of more than two dozen teens who sued him.
Washington Post, Baylor rape scandal involves recruiting ‘hostess’ program. These things still exist? Will Hobson, Feb 2, 2017. The NCAA passed a rule to move such groups out of athletic departments in 2004, but recent scandals illustrate their persistence — and perils. The latest lawsuit against Baylor University alleging rampant rape committed by football players with impunity has again cast attention on college “hostess clubs,” groups of women often selected for appearance and personality to greet prized high school football recruits when they visit campus.
More than a decade after the NCAA changed its rules to discourage the once-common groups, now viewed on many campuses as archaic, they continue to feature prominently in sexual-assault and recruiting scandals in college sports. In the lawsuit filed Friday against Baylor, in which plaintiff Elizabeth Doe claims she was gang-raped by two football players in April 2013, Doe says she joined the football hostess program “Baylor Bruins” when she arrived at the Baptist university’s Waco, Tex., campus in the fall of 2012.
Guardian, Lurid Trump allegations made by Louise Mensch and co-writer came from hoaxer, Jon Swaine, Aug. 28, 2017. Mensch and Claude Taylor tweeted details of criminal inquires that didn’t exist Hoaxer who fed information said she acted out of frustration over fake news Taylor issues mea culpa on Twitter after being approached by Guardian
The allegations made by Claude Taylor were endorsed as authentic and retweeted by his co-writer Louise Mensch. Mensch said her allegations came from her own sources.
Explosive allegations about Donald Trump made by online writers with large followings among Trump critics were based on bogus information from a hoaxer who falsely claimed to work in law enforcement. Claude Taylor tweeted fake details of criminal inquiries into Trump that were invented by a source whose claim to work for the New York attorney general was not checked, according to emails seen by the Guardian. The allegations were endorsed as authentic and retweeted by his co-writer Louise Mensch.
The source’s false tips included an allegation, which has been aggressively circulated by Mensch and Taylor, that Trump’s inactive fashion model agency is under investigation by New York authorities for possible sex trafficking.
The hoaxer, who fed the information to Taylor by email, said she acted out of frustration over the “dissemination of fake news” by Taylor and Mensch. Their false stories about Trump have included a claim that he was already being replaced as president by Senator Orrin Hatch in a process kept secret from the American public.
Politico, The one weird court case linking Trump, Clinton, and a billionaire pedophile, Josh Gerstein, May 4, 2017. A woman who claims in a lawsuit that she was lured into a sex-trafficking ring run by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein contends that the depravity began at a Florida resort now known as the winter White House: Mar-a-Lago (shown above in an aerial photo).
Virginia Giuffre’s civil suit, scheduled to go to trial here later this month, threatens to expose new details of a long-running saga tying together President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, and other prominent figures, including Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Epstein, a well-connected Manhattan money manager and philanthropist, was once a regular at Mar-a-Lago and an active supporter of the Clinton Foundation — repeatedly lending his 727 jet to Clinton for trips overseas.
Dershowitz defended Epstein amid an investigation into his involvement with underage girls more than a decade ago, and it was Acosta — then the U.S. attorney overseeing south Florida — who allowed Epstein’s case to be resolved in state court in 2008. The scandal has spawned a series of drawn-out civil suits, including Giuffre’s.
Justice Integrity Project, Did Trump Labor Pick Protect Trump, Rich Rapists, Tax Cheats, Crooked Bankers? Do We Find Out Wednesday? Andrew Kreig, March 14, 2017. President Trump nominated as labor secretary last month a former federal prosecutor suspected of covering up multiple scandals, including the alleged rape of underage girls in 1994 by billionaire pervert Jeffrey Epstein and Trump, who was Epstein’s friend and neighbor.
With a Senate confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday, Trump picked former Bush administration prosecutor R. Alexander Acosta Feb. 16 to lead the Labor Department despite his multiple legal controversies involving sex predators, corrupt bankers and billionaire tax cheats. Their crimes largely escaped prosecution from Acosta and his law enforcement colleagues.
Daily Beast, The Billionaire Pedophile Who Could Bring Down Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Brandy Zadrozny, June 30, 2016. Billionaire sicko Jeffrey Epstein was long thought to be ammo against the Clintons — until a lurid new lawsuit accused Trump of raping one of Epstein’s girls himself.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Billionaire sex offender’s ‘sweetheart deal’ violated our rights, victims tell feds, Paula McMahon, Jan. 2, 2016. Nearly eight years after billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein got a “sweetheart deal” from the criminal justice system, a judge is preparing to rule on a rare civil lawsuit against the federal government that alleges prosecutors violated two teen girls’ rights as crime victims.
Epstein, now 62, pleaded guilty to state charges in Palm Beach County in July 2008 and admitted he hired local underage girls for erotic massages and sex at his South Florida mansion. He was jailed for 13 months of an 18-month sentence and served a year of house arrest.
The leniency and unusual circumstances of his treatment raised many eyebrows because other sex offenders received much harsher punishments for comparable crimes. The maximum possible punishment for the offenses was 15 years.
Justice Integrity Project, Moralist Ken Starr Explains His Help For Billionaire Pervert Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew Kreig, Feb. 8, 2015. Famed educator and legal scholar Ken Starr led a forum last week at the National Press Club to inspire faith-based instruction — and then was asked to describe why he had helped billionaire Jeffrey Epstein avoid serious prison time in 2008 on allegations Epstein had molested dozens of underage girls.
The president and chancellor of Baylor University, responding to a question after the close of a forum he led Feb. 4 on “The Calling of Faith-based Universities,” told me he was “very happy” to help serve a client of his former law firm, Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis. Starr, a former federal judge and U.S. solicitor general, is shown at left.
Thus, as so often the case in public life in the nation’s capital, a stark contrast arose between high-minded rhetoric and subservience to the wealthy.
Today’s column summarizes the perverted practices of the globe-trotting Epstein, 62, shown in a photo at right. We next examine Epstein’s powerful friends, allies, and lawyers on a legal dream team that included Alan Dershowitz, Roy Black, Jay Lefkowitz, Gerald Lefcourt, and Martin Weinberg.
Daily Beast, Conservative Scold Ken Starr Got A Billionaire Pedophile Off, M.S. Nestel, Jan. 30, 2015. Many believe Jeffrey Epstein dodged certain doom — he could have remained behind bars for the rest of his life given the number of alleged victims (some say it’s as many as hundreds, while his attorneys suggest it’s barely double-digits). Starr served as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. and later became the country’s solicitor general back in the 1980s. But he became a household name in the ’90s when he went after a president. As a self-appointed moral sheriff, Starr almost seemed to trumpet Bill Clinton’s fall from grace — winning him friends on the Christian right and turning him into a witch-hunting pariah with the left.
Gawker, Here Is Pedophile Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book, Nick Bryant, Jan. 23, 2015. Donald Trump, Courtney Love, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and uber-lawyer Alan Dershowitz may have been identified by a butler as potential “material witnesses” to pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes against young girls, according to a copy of Epstein’s little black book obtained by Gawker.
An annotated copy of the address book, which also contains entries for Alec Baldwin, Ralph Fiennes, Griffin Dunne, New York Post gossip Richard Johnson, Ted Kennedy, David Koch, filmmaker Andrew Jarecki, and all manner of other people you might expect a billionaire to know, turned up in court proceedings after Epstein’s former house manager Alfredo Rodriguez tried to sell it in 2009. About 50 of the entries, including those of many of Epstein’s suspected victims and accomplices as well as Trump, Love, Barak, Dershowitz, and others, were circled by Rodriguez. (The existence of the book has been previously reported by the Daily Mail. Gawker is publishing it in full here for the first time; we have redacted addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and the last names of individuals who may have been underage victims.)
Gawker, Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet, Nick Bryant, Jan. 22, 2015. Bill Clinton took repeated trips on the ” Lolita Express” — the private passenger jet owned by billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein — with an actress in softcore porn movies whose name appears in Epstein’s address book under an entry for “massages,” according to flight logbooks obtained by Gawker and published today for the first time.
The logs also show that Clinton shared more than a dozen flights with a woman who federal prosecutors believe procured underage girls to sexually service Epstein and his friends and acted as a “potential co-conspirator” in his crimes.
Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 in Florida to one count of soliciting underage girls for sex (and one count of adult solicitation), for which he served just over a year in county jail.
But sprawling local, state, and federal investigations into the eccentric investor’s habit of paying teen girls for “massages” — sessions during which he would allegedly penetrate girls with sex toys, demand to be masturbated, and have intercourse — turned up a massive network of victims, including 35 female minors whom federal prosecutors believed he’d sexually abused. He has reportedly settled lawsuits from more than 30 “Jane Doe” victims since 2008; the youngest alleged victim was 12 years old at the time of her abuse.
New York Post, Massage Maven out of prison, PageSix.com Staff, July 23, 2009. Jeffrey Epstein (shown in a photo at Harvard University) is a free man. Yesterday, the massage-loving billionaire financier was released six months early from his 18-month prison sentence in Florida because he’s cooperating with federal prosecutors.
Epstein, who pleaded guilty to procuring teenage girls for prostitution, is helping the feds prosecute Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, the Bear Stearns hedge fund managers who allegedly took him for $67 million. Cioffi and Tannin are set to go on trial in Brooklyn federal court on Sept. 28 on charges of misleading investors in their subprime mortgage investment fund, which went bust last year.
Epstein was given work release from his dorm at the Palm Beach County sheriff’s 17-acre, 967-bed stockade. “He’s been visiting the offices of his lawyer, Jack Goldberger, 12 hours a day, six days a week,” said one source. “He was supposedly working on his personal charity, but he was really working with the feds.” Epstein, 56, who used to hobnob with the likes of Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, has a mansion in Palm Beach, a ranch in Santa Fe, the largest private house in Manhattan and his own private island in the Bahamas he calls “St. Jeff’s.”
Jail records indicate he was visited more than 67 times by model Nadia Marcinkova, the “assistant” who police say wrangled teen masseuses for Epstein and joined in the sordid sex play.
WRKI, Ex-Mayor of Waterbury Phil Giordano Loses In Court Again, Pam Brooks, Jan. 10, 2017. I really try to find the best in people, and search for compassion as well. Phil Giordano tests all limits.
Plenty of people with power abuse it. Time and time again, figures of authority and those in the political arena act as if they are above the law.
What former Waterbury Mayor Phil Giordano did was unconscionable. In my opinion, the fact that he believes he deserves a re-trial speaks to his arrogance and audacity.
The Hartford Courant is reporting that former Waterbury Mayor and convicted child rapist, Phil Giordano, is again being rejected by the nation’s highest court. Thankfully, once again, the U.S. Supreme Court is rejecting Giordano’s request for a new trial. As a matter of fact, the court has flat out refused to hear Giordano’s appeal. They rejected his requests in 2006 and 2009 as well. Giordano claimed his rights were violated because his attorney mishandled the case. He is serving a 37-year sentence, with his projected release date in 2034.
The trial was ugly at best. The details rocked not only Waterbury, but the state of Connecticut too. The depravity of what was unearthed by investigators left many residents shaking their heads in disbelief. While we should never forget, it’s time to lay this part of Connecticut’s political history to rest. I, for one, hopes it stops now.
Shut up. Take it like a man. Do your time. Be thankful that you even have a shot at seeing the light of day ever again.
Hartford Courant, Ex-Judicial Marshal Agrees To Plea Deal In Sex Trafficking Case, Alaine Griffin, May 19, 2016. Former Waterbury judicial marshal Michael A. Connelly pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of promoting prostitution, sexual assault and trafficking in persons as part of a plea deal that would send him to prison for one year.
With his head hanging as he stood before a judge in Superior Court, Connelly — brother of the late Waterbury State’s Attorney John Connelly — pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine to the trafficking and fourth-degree sexual assault charges as well as a charge of risk of injury.
By pleading under the Alford doctrine, Connelly, 54, of Waterbury, did not admit guilt to those charges but conceded that prosecutors had enough evidence for a conviction at trial. Connelly also pleaded guilty to third-degree promoting prostitution and five counts of sixth-degree larceny. Connelly is expected to receive a sentence of 12 years in prison suspended after one year served and five years’ probation when he is sentenced Aug. 9. Neither Connelly — who is free on bail — nor his attorney, Leonard Crone, commented after the hearing.
The allegations against Connelly first came to light two years ago when a prostitute being held in the lockup at the Waterbury courthouse where Connelly had been working talked about a “trick” she had and described his appearance, court records said. The woman told another inmate she would occasionally have sex with the man because he paid her and gave her food.
Prosecutor Susan W. Hatfield said Thursday that a woman told police that Connelly pulled up to her in his car on a Waterbury street and asked for a date. After she entered his car, Connelly showed her a star-shaped badge and told her if she didn’t have sex with him he would arrest her.
Hatfield said the woman also said Connelly made threats that if she told anyone he would “get rid of her” and “nobody would find her.” The woman told police she met another man who had seen her on the escort website and had sex with him, but he refused to pay her and said “he had to pay the other guy,” court records said.
Hartford Courant, Ex-Waterbury Mayor Wins Hearing In Effort To Overturn Sex Assault Sentence, Dave Altimari, June 11, 2015. A federal judge overseeing the latest attempt by former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano to vacate his 37-year sentence for sexually assaulting two young girls while he was in office has agreed to allow a hearing on Giordano’s claim that his former counsel was ineffective.
Hartford Courant, From Mayor To Informant, Lynne Tuohy, Jan. 7, 2003. As FBA Agents Describe How One Mayor Cooperated To Avoid Child Sex Charges, Another Mayor’s Corruption Case Begins; Day Of Reckoning: `I’m Bill Reiner With The FBA. We Need To Talk.” It was in a commuter parking lot on the Cheshire-Waterbury line that former Waterbury Mayor Philip A. Giordano’s questionable past and uncertain future converged just after noon on July 23, 2001.
Associated Press via New York Times, Waterbury Mayor Paid Teenager for Sex, Reports Say, Aug. 16, 2001. A teen-age girl has told state investigators that Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano paid her to have sex with him and to watch him have sex with her aunt, the Hartford Courant reported Thursday.
The newspaper cited a report by the state Department of Children and Families and sources it did not identify.
The 17-year-old girl, who is from Waterbury, told her story to DCF investigators, the Courant reported. She said Giordano paid her to have sex in his private law office, some time after her 16th birthday, the newspaper reported.
The teen-ager is the cousin of two girls, ages 9 and 10, involved in federal child sex charges against Giordano, according to the Courant. Giordano was charged on July 26 with using an interstate facility to entice a minor into sexual acts. He is being held without bond.