WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has claimed that he does not know Prince Andrew, but a recently resurfaced interview with People from 2000 says otherwise, showing Trump describing Andrew as "a lot of fun to be with."
"He's not pretentious. He's a lot of fun to be with," Trump told People in 2000, speaking of Andrew. The article also states that Trump and Andrew, as well as Trump's then-girlfriend Melania Knauss, had "chatted" at a Halloween costume party hosted by Heidi Klum in New York City in 2000.
The republished article from People contradicts Trump's claims from just a day earlier that he does not know Andrew.
"I don't know Prince Andrew, but it's a tough story," Trump said on Tuesday while attending the annual NATO meeting in London. "I don't know him, no."
Andrew, a member of the British royal family and formerly known as the Duke of York, was forced to withdraw from his royal duties after a disastrous television interview with the BBC in which he tried to defend his past friendship withsex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself inside a federal jail cell in August.
A U.S. woman has said she was trafficked by Epstein to Andrew when she was 17. The legal age of consent in the United Kingdom is 16. Andrew has denied the allegations.
Trump has previously claimed he does not know somebody when they become politically dangerous to be connected to. In November, Trump claimed he did not know Gordon Sondland, his ambassador to the European Union, after Sondland gave an unfavorable testimony in the House impeachment inquiry.
The resurfaced quotes from People are the latest revelations that Trump might have been social with Andrew and Epstein on multiple occasions prior to his entrance into presidential politics.
Trump was photographed with Andrew at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in February of 2000 with Melania, who is now the first lady. The prince and the president also met during Trump's official visit to the United Kingdom in June and were photographed touring Westminster Abbey together.