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Rep. Ted Lieu redirects attention to Trump-Epstein connection after Democrats’ chaotic media cycle

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) attempted to shift the national focus to former President Donald Trump’s connections to notorious sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and away from the Democratic Party’s future. “We hear a lot from our constituents on different issues,” Lieu said at the news conference Tuesday. “But something I’ve heard that doesn’t seem to be […]

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) attempted to shift the national focus to former President Donald Trump’s connections to notorious sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and away from the Democratic Party’s future.

“We hear a lot from our constituents on different issues,” Lieu said at the news conference Tuesday. “But something I’ve heard that doesn’t seem to be being covered are the Epstein files.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) speaks as House Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-CA) listens during a press conference, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/John McDonnell)

On Tuesday, Lieu touted court filings alleging Trump flew with, exchanged phone calls, and took numerous photos with Epstein. The conference came as the Biden White House struggles to shut down intraparty squabbles surrounding concerns about the president’s mental acuity.


A spokesman for the Trump campaign called Lieu’s comments part of his “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

“Ted is a total degenerate and loser who continues to beclown himself,” Steven Cheung told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday. “He has let Trump Derangement Syndrome rot his brain and, instead of getting the proper care he so desperately needs, has allowed himself to be the laughingstock of all his colleagues, who secretly joke about his glaring shortcomings.”

Lieu’s press briefing came after Florida Circuit Judge Luis Delgado unsealed hundreds of documents associated with the Epstein case last week. The documents are from a 2006 court case surrounding allegations Epstein raped underage girls.

Epstein was a fixture in Palm Beach, Florida, where Trump enjoyed spending time at his Mar-a-Lago golf course for decades. Trump has long admitted he had a friendship with Epstein in the 1990s and early 2000s, saying “everybody in Palm Beach” knew the disgraced financier. However, the former president claims an argument between the two around 2004 ended their relationship. 

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In 2019, Trump told reporters he hadn’t spoken to Epstein for 15 years due to a “falling out.” 

His words came about 17 years after he told New York Magazine he had known Epstein for 15 years. “Terrific guy,” Trump said in 2002. At the time, a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton also lauded the disgraced financier in remarks to the magazine. Clinton was also named in Epstein documents released at the beginning of 2024. 

A photo provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

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“Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science. I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratization, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS,” the Clinton spokesman said in a statement to the magazine. 

After being arrested on charges of tracking minors in July 2019, Epstein died in prison a month later due to an alleged suicide. Official reports record his death as a suicide, although critics, including Epstein’s brother and then-U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, worried about “serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation.”

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