President Donald Trump on Sunday weighed in on the controversy surrounding ABC News alleged refusal to air a story and interviews involving disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender.
Undercover investigative journalism nonprofit Project Veritas last week posted footage that showed ABC anchor Amy Robach lamenting the network not airing a exposé she worked on about Epstein based on an interview and evidence provided by Virginia Roberts, a woman who has accused Epstein of abusing her while she was a minor.
“We would not put it on the air. First of all, I was told, Whos Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story,” Robach said about the internationally known convicted sex offender.
Trump on Sunday morning retweeted a video of Jesse Watters on Fox News “Watters Words,” during which he blasted the network for extensively covering unproven allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh without evidence and later refusing to report on the Epstein.
The president added his own commentary in his tweet: “ABC is as bad as the rest of them. Journalistic standards are nonexistent today. The press is so dishonest that we no longer have Freedom of the Press!”
ABC is as bad as the rest of them. Journalistic standards are nonexistent today. The press is so dishonest that we no longer have Freedom of the Press! https://t.co/nzF31cLYw7
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2019
The ABC story apparently involved Prince Andrew, former President Bill Clinton, and high-profile attorney Alan Dershowitz, Robach said.
“[Roberts] told me everything. She had pictures. She had everything. She was in hiding for 12 years. We convinced her to come out. We convinced her to talk to us,” Robach said.
In a statement after the leaked video was released, Robach had changed her tune: “As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration. I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didnt air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABCs editorial standards about her allegations.”
CBS then fired Ashley Bianco, 25, who previously worked for ABC and apparently accessed the Robach footage. She was accused of leaking the video but told Megyn Kelly on Friday that she didnt.
“I just clipped it off. I essentially left it in the system. It never left the system. We do it all the time,” she said.
According to The New York City Medical Examiners Office, Epstein killed himself via hanging in August.
His case became the subject of controversy again after famed pathologist Dr. Michael Baden and Epsteins brother, Mark Epstein, issued statements on his death that countered the official conclusions.