Donald Trump gave a press conference in the midst of the NATO summit on Tuesday, where he was asked about his relationship with Prince Andrew in the wake of the Duke of York stepping down from his royal duties after accusations he had sex with an underage girl with ties to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
“I don’t know Prince Andrew, but it’s a tough story; it’s a very tough story. I don’t know him, no,” replied Trump, reported the New York Times.
Fox News also covered Tuesday’s presser, cutting to a photo of Trump with Prince Andrew at a Mar-a-Lago party that Epstein also attended.
The media has demolished Trump’s claims by providing photographic evidence — some going back nearly two decades — of Trump and Andrew photographed together on several occasions.
In fact, earlier this year Trump was accompanied by the prince during a visit to the U.K., with the Duke of York sharing photos on Twitter.
In addition, the Times reports that Trump and then-girlfriend Melania Knauss were also seen hobnobbing with Andrew as early as 2000, on at least two separate occasions: once at the opening of the Hudson Hotel in Manhattan, and again when Trump welcomed the prince to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Prince Andrew has denied the allegations of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was instructed by Epstein to have sex with the prince on three occasions when she was underage. Andrew addressed the allegations in a U.K. television interview that went so poorly he stepped away from his royal duties days later. Epstein was arrested earlier this year, and committed suicide in jail under highly murky circumstances.
Meanwhile, Trump has also downplayed his relationship with Epstein. In addition to the emergence of cringe-inducing footage featuring Trump and Epstein ogling women at a 1992 party, the future president once claimed to know Epstein well.
In a 2002 New York magazine profile of Epstein, Trump declared he’d known Epstein for more than a decade.
“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Trump said at the time. “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.”
However, Trump changed his tune when Epstein was taken into custody earlier this year on charges of sex trafficking minors. “I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you,” said President Trump.