Jeffrey Epstein got media training from Steve Bannon for a '60 Minutes' interview that never happened, according to report
Steve Bannononce gave mediatraining to Jeffrey Epstein, according to The New York Times.
- Bannon told Epstein to "stick to his message, which is that he is not a pedophile."
- He also told the convicted rapist "not to share his racist theories on how Black people learn."
Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon gave media training to the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein back in 2019, according to Bannon, author Michael Wolff, and a new report in The New York Times.
While Bannon confirmed the sessions - where he said he recorded 15 hours of interviews with Epstein - he disputed some of the characterizations of their conversation in a forthcoming book by Wolff.
"Mr. Bannon, who has made 15 documentaries, said that he 'never media-trained anyone' and was recording the interview for a previously unannounced eight- to 10-hour documentary meant to illustrate how Mr. Epstein's 'perversions and depravity toward young women were part of a life that was systematically supported, encouraged and rewarded by a global establishment that dined off his money and his influence,'" media columnist Ben Smith writes in The Times.
In Wolff's telling, Epstein was sitting down with Bannon to prep for an episode of "60 Minutes" that never ended up happening. Epstein was charged with sex trafficking of minors in 2019 and died in jail.
Bannon told the financier to look into the camera and "not to share his racist theories on how Black people learn," according to Wolff.
"You're engaging, you're not threatening, you're natural, you're friendly, you don't look at all creepy, you're a sympathetic figure," Bannon told Epstein at the time, according to Wolff.
Smith's article in The Times takes a bigger picture look at Wolff's controversial sourcing techniques as one of the best-selling authors of the Trump era.
"To write about Mr. Bannon's dealings with Mr. Epstein in the new book, Mr. Wolff relied on transcripts of what Mr. Epstein appears to believe are practice interviews," Smith writes. "Where did he get the transcripts, not to mention a raft of other new details about the last days of Mr. Epstein's life? Mr. Wolff won't say, and his narrative method is no help either."
Wolff's use of the third person in his books frequently obfuscates where he got specific information or anecdotes from, allowing for a more novel-like narrative flow at the expense of journalistic sourcing.
The author spoke about his access to some of the most infamous men in American society, including Epstein.
"He wanted me to write something about him - a kind of a book - it wasn't clear why," Wolff told The Times.
After their interview, Wolff emailed Smith to emphasize that his beat should not be characterized as "elderly sex abusers," and that the scope of his subjects "has turned out to, disproportionately, include many sex abusers."