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Nervously speaking through a Skype video call with PBS Newshour‘s Judy Woodruff, Microsoft founder Bill Gates answered questions regarding his friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein — a well-known consultant and sex trafficker connected to prominent figures in American culture.
From actors in Hollywood to so-called philanthropists, Epstein’s seedy work for recognizable names has left a lingering stench of influence.
Gates has described himself as a former associate of Epstein’s, albeit with some conviction for knowing about Epstein’s moonlighting as a sex trafficker of minors. Woodruff asked Gates about the connection to Epstein that persisted throughout the unearthed controversies.
“He had relationships with people he said, you know, would give to global health, which is an interest I have,” claimed Gates, characterizing Epstein’s like-minded philanthropy as cause for their relationship. According to a Business Insider report, Bill inconspicuously provided millions of dollars to Epstein through an MIT fund.
Woodruff pressed on a timeline that connected the two well beyond Epstein’s reported troubles. Gates responded with remorse and clammy hands. “Those meetings were a mistake. They didn’t result in what he purported and I cut them off.”
“I’ve said I regretted having those dinners. And there’s nothing, absolutely nothing new on that,” added Gates, whose divorce after 27 years of marriage to Melinda Gates was largely predicated on released pictures of Epstein and Bill.
Bill continued to brush off Woodruff’s curious prodding by focusing on the philanthropy work that transpired through his teaming up with the departed Epstein. “You know, in general, you always have to be careful and … you know, I’m very proud of what we’ve done in philanthropy, very proud of the work of the foundation. That’s why I get up every day and focus on.”
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela