While President Trump has fought off probes into his finances, scores of credible sexual assault allegations, and a formal impeachment, he might not be able to so easily parry his past life as a socialite. An ad this week advocating for Trump's conviction in his impeachment trial went viral by highlighting some of Trump’s shadier associations. While Trump was ultimately acquitted Wednesday afternoon, the ad still offers a powerful and concise rundown of some of Trump's most shameful moments. The 90-second clip, produced by an Oregon film company, contrasts comments by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead impeachment manager in Trump’s Senate trial, with visuals of Trump palling around with the likes of Richard Nixon and the now-deceased convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Titled "Midnight in Washington," the clip features Schiff addressing the Senate in his role as impeachment manager. "It is midnight in Washington," Schiff says. "The lights are finally going out in the capital after a long day in the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump." As Schiff speaks, we see Epstein and Trump partying together at the president’s Miami club. We also see video of the president shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, leaders at the helm of autocratic regimes.
"We can't trust this president to do the right thing, not for one minute, not for one election, not for the sake of our country," Schiff declares via voiceover, warning that a vote to acquit would bind senators’ reputations to Trump "with a cord of steel and for all of history."
The short video indicates a possible strategy for Democrats to pursue once the primary is concluded: attack Trump for his shady relationships, particularly the one he had with Epstein, which has become the focus of renewed interest in the wake of Epstein’s arrest and subsequent suicide over the past year.
Trump has denied being close with Epstein, but the two go way back on a social level; in 2002, Trump called Epstein “terrific” in an interview with New York magazine, saying outright that the eventual convicted predator “likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
Frankly, it would be political malpractice for any opponent of Trump’s not to consider using this as ammunition in a general election. Epstein is about as toxic an association as there is in America today, even in death, and his associations with Trump are long, deep, and captured on video. Of course, this could open a can of worms for Democrats due to former President Bill Clinton’s possibly more infamous friendship with Epstein, but as long as the Democratic nominee isn’t Hilary Clinton, the Epstein angle should still work to their advantage.
After all, when you just go ahead and state the obvious fact — the president of the United States has a decades-long friendship with one of history’s most notorious pedophiles — it’s pretty damning, as these things go.