A PBS interview with Bill Gates took a turn as the Microsoft co-founder appeared uncomfortable fielding questions about his ties to deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Gates during an interview with PBS NewsHour was asked by journalist Judy Woodruff about the "number of meetings" he had with Epstein, the financier who died by suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. "When you met him 10 years ago, he was convicted of soliciting prostitution from minors," Woodruff noted, asking Gates, "What did you know about him when you were meeting with him, as you've said yourself, in the hopes of raising money?" Gates told Woodruff he regrets having dinners with Epstein.
"Those meetings were a mistake," he said. "They didn't result in what he purported, and I cut them off. You know, that goes back a long time ago now. So there's nothing new on that."
Woodruff continued to grill Gates on this, though, noting that it's been reported he continued meeting with Epstein "over several years," and she asked, "What did you do when you found out about his background?" Gates, seeming frustrated with the further questions on the subject, didn't directly address this but repeated that he "regretted having those dinners" and that there's "absolutely nothing new on that." Woodruff finally asked Gates if there's a lesson to be learned from the situation.
"Well, he's dead," Gates responded. "So ... in general, you always have to be careful."
In 2019, the New York Times reported that Gates met with Epstein "many" times and that unlike many other people, Gates "started the relationship after Mr. Epstein was convicted of sex crimes." Gates told The Wall Street Journal he didn't "have any business relationship or friendship with him." In May, the Journal reported after Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce that a "source of concern" for Melinda Gates was "her husband's dealings" with Epstein.