Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is the closest thing America has to an oligarch: an out-of-touch wealthy elitist who runs his own media empire to help build his brand and – he hopes – bend public opinion to his favor.
His Bloomberg news organization isn’t even pretending to play fair for the 2020 election.
The company’s editor told staffers in an email that they will “continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation).”
Yes, they’re essentially going to sit this one out.
Now, a newly surfaced photo linking the former mayor to disgraced pedophile Jeffrey Epstein may show why.
The photo shows him chumming it up with a close associate of the late billionaire sex predator, who (allegedly) killed himself after being arrested over the summer.
The image on social media shows Bloomberg with Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who Vanity Fair slammed as Epstein’s “alleged enabler.”
Maxwell, who hasn’t been seen in public in months, hasn’t been accused of any criminal activity and reportedly hadn’t been in contact with Epstein in years.
However, some reports indicate that she at one time acted as his fixer and may have allegedly helped to arrange his meetings with the underage girls who would become his victims.
Maxwell has denied the allegations.
In the photo, she is all smiles with Bloomberg:
Woah! Here's Michael Bloomberg and Jeffrey Epstein's partner, Ghislaine Maxwell. pic.twitter.com/AIbHits4l4
— ????⏳☮️#Bernie2020???????????? (@WhiskersCrowley) November 25, 2019
Even the left-wing “fact-checking” website Snopes.com couldn’t debunk this one.
The organization confirmed that the image is real and was taken in 2013, Bloomberg’s final year as mayor of New York.
The website said the image was snapped at the Tony Four Seasons restaurant during a party celebrating the book “In My Shoes: A Memoir” by photographer Leandro Justen.
The timing of the photo is curious and at the very least careless: By 2013, Epstein had already served 13 months in prison in a sweetheart deal in which he pled guilty in Florida to two state felony charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution.
While Maxwell was no longer publicly associated with Epstein in 2013, her past connections to him would in many cases render her a pariah.
But not for the then-mayor of the largest city in the country, who seemed to have no problem posing with her.
The accusations that have surfaced since are even more shocking.
One of Epstein’s accusers claimed to have witnessed Maxwell scoping out children.
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“All day long, I saw Ghislaine going to get the women,” Maria Farmer told CBS This Morning last month. “She went to places like Central Park. I was with her a couple of times in the car…She would say, ‘Stop the car.’ And she would dash out and get a child.”
She also claimed Maxwell threatened her.
“She says, ‘You’re going out to jog on the West Side Highway every day, and I know this. You need to be very careful because there’s so many ways to die there. So you have to be really careful. Look over your shoulder,’” she said.
Another accuser, Virginia Giuffre, says she was assaulted by Prince Andrew when she was 17 — after being recruited into Epstein’s operation by Maxwell, and ordered to have sex with the royal by the pair.
“In the car Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey and that just made me sick,” she told the BBC’s Panorama last week.
Maxwell and Prince Andrew have both denied the allegations.
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And Bloomberg certainly couldn’t have known those details at the time the photo was taken.
But given that Maxwell was known to have been close to Epstein, the image certainly raises questions about his discretion, judgment, and character… three factors that voters will no doubt consider when they cast their ballots.
— The Horn editorial team