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Trump defends wishing Ghislaine Maxwell well and questions if Epstein's death was suicide

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump is now saying that he wished Ghislaine Maxwell well after she was arrested because he doesn't want her to die in jail like her former boyfriend and alleged accomplice, Jeffrey Epstein.

In an interview with "Axios on HBO" that aired Monday night, Trump was asked why he wished Maxwell well when she's been arrested on allegations of child sex trafficking.

"Well, first of all you don't know that," Trump said to the allegations of child sex trafficking. "Her friend or boyfriend (Epstein) was either killed or committed suicide. She's now in jail. Yeah, I wish her well. I'd wish you well. I'd wish a lot of people well. Good luck. Let them prove somebody was guilty."

Maxwell is charged with enticement and conspiracy to entice minors, as young as 14, to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and two counts of perjury. She has denied any wrongdoing.

When asked to clarify whether he was suggesting he hoped she doesn't die in jail, Trump told Axios: "Her boyfriend died in jail and people are still trying to figure out, how did it happen? Was it suicide? Was he killed? And I do wish her well. I'm not looking for anything bad for her."

Trump's suggestion that Epstein's death could have possibly not been a suicide contradicts both the New York City medical examiner's office and his own attorney general.

Last year, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner said Epstein died by suicide by hanging inside a Manhattan jail cell, where he was awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of sexually abusing underage girls. Attorney General Bill Barr has said "a perfect storm of screw-ups" gave Epstein the chance to take his own life and called Epstein's death a suicide.
Last month, when asked about Maxwell's arrest, Trump told reporters: "I just wish her well, frankly."

Trump acknowledged that he has met Maxwell "numerous times" over the years, but said he hasn't been following her case.

The President was also asked whether he believes Maxwell will turn on powerful men, including Prince Andrew, who has faced public pressure to explain his relationship with Epstein and one of his accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Giuffre has alleged that she was forced into sexual encounters with the prince while she was underage. Federal prosecutors have sought interviews with Prince Andrew as part of their investigation into the alleged sex trafficking ring. Prince Andrew has denied Giuffre's allegations.

Trump responded: "I don't know. I haven't really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly. I've met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach. I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well. Whatever it is. I don't know the situation with Prince Andrew. Just don't know. Not aware of it."

Trump himself has faced numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

More than a dozen women have come forward since 2016 with allegations against Trump ranging from groping on planes to unwanted advances in the Trump Tower to rape in a department store.

Trump has strongly denied all the allegations.

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