Former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been accused of serving as a media coach for disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in the months leading up to his arrest.
Before a scheduled interview with 60 minutes that in the end would never happen, Epstein sat in the office of his New York mansion with a camera pointed at him, practicing for his TV appearance.
Mr Bannon, who was appointed general manager of the Trump campaign in August 2016, both questioned Epstein during the mock interview and coached him on how he should approach it, according to the book Too famous: the rich, the powerful, the eager, the notorious, the damned by writer Michael Wolff.
Mr Wolff writes that Mr Bannon told Epstein that he should sometimes look into the camera to avoid looking stupid and shouldn’t talk about his racist theories about how black people learn.
Mr Bannon told Epstein he had to stay on the post – that he was not a pedophile.
Epstein was arrested on July 6, 2019 on federal charges of child sex trafficking in Florida and New York. He died in his prison cell on August 10, 2019 and the medical examiner ruled it was suicide.
“You are engaging, you are not threatening, you are natural, you are sympathetic, you do not look scary, you are a sympathetic figure,” Mr Bannon told Epstein after the mock interview. early 2019, writes Wolff.
Mr. Wolff’s book is due out next month, and the episode with Epstein was confirmed by Mr. Bannon in a statement to The New York Times. He told the newspaper he urged Epstein to speak to 60 minutes and that he had recorded over 15 hours of interviews with him.
But Mr. Bannon rejected the transcript provided by Mr. Wolff. Mr. Bannon has made 15 documentaries and said The New York Times that he “never trained anyone in the media,” adding that the meeting with Epstein was supposed to be part of an unannounced documentary, lasting eight to 10 hours. The documentary aimed to show how Epstein’s “perversions and depravity towards young women were part of a life that was consistently supported, encouraged and rewarded by a global establishment that ate its money and influence.”
Mr. Bannon was a source who officially spoke about Mr. Wolff’s book in 2018 Fire and fury on the Trump administration.
Mr Wolff used transcripts of what Epstein seemed to think were hands-on interviews to find out what Mr Bannon said during interactions, but did not disclose the source of the transcripts to New York Times media columnist Ben Smith.
The Independent Gt