Two days ago, on 07/10/19, Observer published an article with the following headline: [It Sure Looks Like Jeffrey Epstein Was a Spy—But Whose?](https://observer.com/2019/07/jeffrey-epstein-spy-intelligence-work/) I passed it around to a few people as idle speculation, and one of them replied,
>”Pretty weak factual premise for this article. I think the journalist is stretching. The intelligence methodology alleged doesn’t ring true to me either: — I can’t see US intelligence letting this guy run a sex-trafficking ring in the hope of pulling in a few high level targets; if it’s a hostile intelligence operation, I can’t see US intelligence not intervening early on. I’d say wishful thinking by the journalist. Broader issues of how Epstein got off so easy are more interesting.”
Perhaps they’re right. The article itself is pretty light on details and doesn’t offer much in the way of evidence. So, what are the chances that Epstein or Trump have been involved in some sort of sex trafficking ring with possible ties to the intelligence community? Is that as batshit crazy as it seems? Is any of this remotely plausible?
While even a few years ago a post like this would have been relegated to the tin foil hat sections of the internet, we live in strange times indeed. I’ve assembled the following from primary sources as much as possible, but I’m also recycling some of my old Reddit posts, as well as some more recent posts by others (if I fail to properly attribute any of my sources, please call me out. Much of this remains speculative, and some of it still clearly falls in the “conspiracy theory” category, but maybe in light of new information we’ll re-examine older rumors.
Our story takes place roughly between the mid-1970’s and the present day. Join me, won’t you?
Because the premise of this post relies on the idea that the CIA would condone or even oversee a sex-trafficking ring, we first have to answer the question if that it even possible. It would appear that it is:
(1954 – 1966) [Operation Midnight Climax](http://discovermagazine.com/2008/aug/04-whatever-happened-to-mind-control):
>In the 1950s, visitors to a brothel atop San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill got more than just a tryst and a view of the bay. Clients were secretly dosed with LSD as CIA agents watched from behind a one-way mirror. Although it sounds like a bad late-night spy movie, Operation Midnight Climax, as it was called, was a very real part of a larger covert project called MKULTRA.”
(Don’t worry. I’m leaving mind control out of this.)
[When the CIA ran a LSD sex-house in San Francisco](https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/When-the-CIA-ran-a-LSD-sex-house-in-San-Francisco-7223346.php):
>In 1943, a Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann developed an unbelievably powerful drug called LSD. When the technical branch of the CIA learned about this drug, the gung-ho head of its chemical division, a young chemist named Sidney Gottlieb, persuaded CIA official Richard Helms that the agency should investigate it as a spy tool. On April 13, 1953, CIA director Allen Dulles approved a program for “covert use of biological and chemical materials” with an initial budget of $300,000. Its name: MKULTRA.
>The CIA began to fund LSD projects at many institutions, including Columbia University and Mount Sinai Hospital. Informed consent and other moral niceties were dispensed with. One researcher kept seven subjects, junkies enticed by promises of hard drugs, on LSD for 77 straight days. No follow-up on them was ever done.
>The CIA was playing an extremely dangerous game. In 1953, Gottlieb dosed a CIA colleague, Frank Olson, causing Olson to undergo a mental crisis that ended with him falling to his death from a 10th-floor window. But this horrific incident only put MKULTRA temporarily on hold.
>Gottlieb soon hired [New York mobster George White, a tough-guy OSS captain who had been an agent in the Federal Bureau of Narcotics] to run two “safe houses” for LSD testing in Greenwich Village. White administered LSD, knockout drops and marijuana to his unwitting “guests” using food, drinks and cigarettes, then tried to get them to talk.
>In 1955, White was transferred to San Francisco, where he had worked as a journalist, and rented out the apartment on Telegraph Hill. To give his pad the desired French-whorehouse look, White furnished it with Toulouse-Lautrec posters, a picture of a French can-can dancer and kinky photos of women in bondage and domination poses.
>“It was supposed to look rich,” a narcotics agent who regularly visited told Marks, “but it was furnished like crap.”
>White installed bugging equipment and a two-way mirror behind which he would sit on a portable toilet, quaffing a martini from the pitcher he kept in the refrigerator, and observe the proceedings. The prostitutes who staffed the operation were paid in part with chits they could use for favors such as getting out of jail.
>…Operation Midnight Climax soon expanded beyond the Telegraph Hill pad. CIA operatives began dosing people with acid in restaurants, bars and beaches. They also used other, more exotic drugs: “If we were scared enough of a drug not to try it out on ourselves, we sent it to San Francisco,” a CIA source told Marks. And the agency began using the prostitutes to lure men of all sorts, not just marginal figures, back to the safe house.
In 1974, NYT journalist Seymour Hersh wrote an expose on the CIA’s domestic spying program:
(12/22/74) [HUGE C.I.A. OPERATION REPORTED IN U.S. AGAINST ANTIWAR FORCES, OTHER DISSIDENTS IN NIXON YEARS](https://www.nytimes.com/1974/12/22/archives/huge-cia-operation-reported-in-u-s-against-antiwar-forces-other.html)
>An extensive investigation by The New York Times has established that intelligence files on at least 10,000 American citizens were maintained by a special unit of the C.I.A. that was reporting directly to Richard Helms, then the Director of Central Intelligence and now the Ambassador to Iran.
>In addition, the sources said, a check of the C.I.A.’s domestic files ordered last year by Mr. Helms’s successor, James R. Schlesinger, produced evidence of dozens of other illegal activities by members of the C.I.A. inside the United States, beginning in the nineteen‐fifties, including break‐ins, wiretapping and the surreptitious inspection of mail.
>…“Counterintelligence!” one high‐level Justice Department official exclaimed upon being given some details of the C.I.A.’s alleged domestic operations. “They’re not supposed to have any counterintelligence in this country.”
>“Oh, my God,” he said, “oh my God.”
>A former high‐level F.B.I. official who operated in domestic counterintelligence areas since World War I, expressed astonishment and then anger upon being told of the C.I.A.’s alleged domestic activities.
>“We had an agreement with them that they weren’t to do anything unless they checked with us,” he said. “They double‐crossed me all along.”
>He said he had never been told by his C.I.A. counterintelligence colleagues of any of the alleged domestic operations that took place.
Due to the Watergate scandal and other investigations, the Church Committee was formed in 1975:
>was a U.S. Senate select committee in 1975 that investigated abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)….R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., editor of the conservative magazine The American Spectator, wrote that the committee “betrayed CIA agents and operations.” The committee had not received names, so had none to release, as confirmed by later CIA director George H. W. Bush.
Bush would be CIA Director between 1976-1977, until Carter was elected and replaced him with Stansfield Turner. To put it mildly, Turner was not liked by the CIA’s good old boy network who felt they’d been left out in the cold after the Church Committee. The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed Turner several months after his appointment:
(08/05/77) [CIA Chief Deplores CIA Brothels](https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP88-01315R000200230007-4.pdf):
Once Reagan was inaugurated in 1981, Turner would be replaced by William Casey, George HW Bush was VP, and the good old boy network was up and running again. Bob Woodward had this to say about Casey, whose career began in the OSS during WWII:
[60 Minutes, An Interview With Bob Woodward](https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP90-00965R000807540049-8.pdf):
>He broke the rules. He used POWS, prisoners of war, Nazi prisoners of war…as spies for the United States. He used prostitutes. He had one team of prostitutes that were spies. He knew that you don’t get the job done of winning by playing by the rules.
So we’ve established that the CIA was perfectly willing to use prostitutes as part of its intelligence gathering and that by the early 1980’s, the Director of the CIA had himself used these methods. But what does any of this have to do with Trump and Epstein? Let’s examine their weird careers.
[Trump](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump) and [Epstein](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Epstein) both grew up in New York. Trump, born in 1946, grew up in Queens with a wealthy father. Epstein, born in 1953, grew up on Coney Island in a middle class family. I don’t know that their paths ever crossed at this stage, but Epstein was possibly familiar with the Trump name even then because in 1966, when Epstein was 13, Fred Trump purchased and demolished one of Coney Island’s landmark amusement parks, [Steeplechase Park](https://www.6sqft.com/50-years-ago-donald-trumps-father-demolished-coney-islands-beloved-steeplechase-park/), and wanted to turn it into residential properties. For more info on the effect this would have had on Epstein’s neighborhood, see: [How the Trumps Brought Death and Destruction to Coney Island](https://nowthisnews.com/videos/politics/how-the-trumps-brought-death-and-destruction-to-coney-island). But for Trump, who was 20, this episode and others like it, would be a model for the kind of business man he’d become.
(1973) [The Untold Story of Trump Model Management (Part 1)](https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/10/6/1578544/-The-Untold-Story-of-Trump-Model-Management-A-Daily-Kos-Exclusive-Part-1):
>[John] Casablancas… started Elite Model Management in 1972, by contrast, offered something different. First, he offered money-much more than models were making under Ford and similar agencies. He also offered the prospect of a more exiting lifestyle unhindered by curfews or morality clauses, where late night partying, drug use and hedonistic pleasures were encouraged. While Ford and her compatriots provided the security of labor protection-such as standardized pay and working hours- Casablancas embraced the increasingly popular principals of unbridled capitalism and neoliberalism. In exchange for employment security he gave them an opportunity to earn money commensurate with their commercial success, and the possibilities were endless.
>…Around this time Donald Trump was working tirelessly to ingratiate himself into the Manhattan social scene with little success. That changed when he met the man who would become his mentor and closest adviser, Roy Cohn – the infamous lawyer who first gained notoriety as a red baiter during the McCarthy Hearings. Trump met Cohn in 1973 at Le Club, a members-only East Side hangout.
>Trump was 27, and had just moved to Manhattan but was still working in Brooklyn at one of his father’s company offices. He was a nobody at the time, but he was able to strong arm the owners of Le Club into a membership-something he did as a way to get to know older, connected and powerful men like Roy Cohn. At the time, Trump and his father had been slapped with a lawsuit by the Department of Justice for racial discrimination, for refusing to rent out their real estate properties to black families. Trump knew his best shot at getting the feds to back down was to get a political “fixer” like Roy Cohn on his side. Cohn would eventually represent the Trumps in a counter suit against the DOJ, and ultimately a settlement would be reached. But that was just the beginning of Trump and Cohn’s relationship-“Though Cohn had ostensibly been retained by Donald to handle a single piece of litigation,” Wayne Barrett, an investigative journalist for New York’s Village Voice, would write in his 1992 book about the Trump family “he began in the mid-‘70s to assume a role in Donald’s life far transcending that of a lawyer. He became Donald’s mentor, his constant adviser on every significant aspect of his business and personal life.”
>Through Cohn, Trump gained access to Manhattan’s drug-fueled disco scene, of which Cohn was a fixture. Cohn would become the legal advisor to Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, the owners of Studio 54 where Trump would spend much of the 1970’s. During this period, Trump engaged in such excess of promiscuity that he deemed it “my second business” according to author Michael Gross. During an interview with Gross for his Pop Culture anthology My Generation – Trump reminisced on this time of his life:
> “You had drugs, women and booze all over the fuckin’ place”, he boasted. “If I hadn’t got married, who knows what would have happened?” in case anyone missed his point, he would later clarify – “I don’t think anybody had more sex than I did. Sex was all over the fucking place”. He would also describe the typical night at Studio 54 – “I would watch supermodels getting screwed, well-known supermodels getting screwed, on a bench in the middle of the room. There were seven of them and each one was getting screwed by a different guy.”
>Later he would tell Howard Stern that his sexual exploits-and their inherent risk of deadly disease-were what he considered his “personal Vietnam”, opining that there was perhaps no more deadly weapon than the vagina.
>And such was the life that Donald Trump saw in the late 70’s. In a way, it was a life not all that dissimilar to Casablancas’, yet with 2 considerable differences. One, Casablancas was a self-made man who was naturally charming, attractive, and navigated the celebrity and social scene with ease. Donald Trump was not. In fact Trump had a personality that most people in the elite circles he wanted to belong to found off putting. But perhaps the greatest difference between the two men was John Casablancas was famous, and Trump was not.
>Nonetheless, Trump and Casablancas would cross paths at some point during the 70’s-most likely through Roy Cohn, who was involved in the suit between Elite and Ford-and they would form a decades long friendship and later a formal partnership that would end up influencing many of his future career choices and inform his style of interacting with the media. Casablancas’ influence on Trump becomes obvious when reading about both men, and it portends quite a bit, but has been largely forgotten by history.
>…Donald Trump met, and started dating, Czech model [Ivana Zelníčková](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivana_Trump)- a woman who, despite his later claims that she was a supermodel, was in reality barely making a living posing in her bikini at trade shows at the time they met. Ivana and Trump would marry in 1978 and their first child, Donald Jr., would be born 8 months later.
Until Trump’s presidential campaign, Roy Cohn was largely a forgotten figure as far as popular culture was concerned. But he played an extremely important role in Trump’s development:
>Cohn played a major role in McCarthy’s crusade against Communism.[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-ppppnav-21) During the [Lavender Scare](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavender_Scare), Cohn and McCarthy attempted to enhance anti-Communist fervor in the country by claiming that Communists overseas had convinced several closeted [homosexuals](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuals) employed by the US federal government to pass on important government secrets in exchange for keeping their sexuality secret.[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-ppppnav-21) Convinced that the employment of homosexuals was now a threat to national security, President [Dwight Eisenhower](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwight_Eisenhower) signed an executive order on April 29, 1953, to ban homosexuals from working in the federal government.[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-ppppnav-21) (Note: Cohn himself was gay. It is reported that his friendship with Trump only soured in the early 80’s because Trump learned Cohn had HIV. Cohn would die in 1986 from complications related to AIDS.)
>…After leaving McCarthy, Cohn had a 30-year career as an [attorney](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawyer) in [New York City](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City). His clients included [Donald Trump](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump)[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-25); [New York Yankees](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Yankees) baseball club and New York Yankees owner [George Steinbrenner](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Steinbrenner)[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-Guard-26)[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-27); [Aristotle Onassis](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle_Onassis)[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-28); [Mafia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Mafia) figures [Tony Salerno](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Salerno), [Carmine Galante](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmine_Galante), and [John Gotti](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gotti); [Studio 54](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studio_54) owners [Steve Rubell](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Rubell) and [Ian Schrager](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Schrager); the [Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Archdiocese_of_New_York), and Texas financier and philanthropist [Shearn Moody, Jr.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shearn_Moody,_Jr.)[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-fortune-29) and Richard Dupont.
>…In the early 1960s he became a member of the [John Birch Society](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birch_Society) and a principal figure in the [Western Goals Foundation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Goals_Foundation). Although he was registered as a [Democrat](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States)), Cohn supported most of the [Republican](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States)) presidents of his time and Republicans in major offices across New York.[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-NYTObit-3) He maintained close ties in [conservative](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_conservatism) political circles, serving as an informal advisor to [Richard Nixon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Nixon) and [Ronald Reagan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan).[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-NYTObit-3) Cohn’s other clients included retired [Harvard Law School](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Law_School) professor [Alan Dershowitz](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Dershowitz) who has referenced Cohn as “the quintessential [fixer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixer_(person))”.[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-31)
>…[Rupert Murdoch](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Murdoch) was a client, and Cohn repeatedly pressured President [Ronald Reagan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan) to further Murdoch’s interests. He is credited with introducing Trump and Murdoch, in the mid-1970s, marking the beginning of what was to be a long, pivotal association between the two.[](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn#cite_note-41)
Another figure comes into play around this point:
[A Brief History of Roger Stone. The Republican operative and self-described “dirty trickster” has been a presence in the president’s life for more than 30 years.](https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/01/roger-stones-long-history-in-trump-world/581293/)
>In 1976, Stone [joined](https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1986/06/16/the-rise-and-gall-of-roger-stone/d8ce308b-7055-4666-860e-378833f46e17/?utm_term=.4a2046c5f6e4) Reagan’s first failed presidential bid, working as his “youth director.” The following year, at 24 years old, Stone was elected chairman of the Young Republicans, a political organization for conservatives ages 18 to 40. The chairmanship had clout in conservative circles; the Young Republicans’ support was crucial to Barry Goldwater’s presidential nomination in 1964. Stone’s friend from the College Republicans, Paul Manafort, managed his campaign. Decades later, Manafort would become chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential bid, and [would also be indicted by the special counsel](https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/09/paul-manafort-trump-mueller-trial/570331/). Both men were from Connecticut, and as our colleague Franklin Foer [wrote](https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/paul-manafort-american-hustler/550925/) last March, they shared “an affection for finely tailored power suits, and a deeper love of power itself.”
>By 1980, Stone had made crucial contacts in Reaganworld, and coordinated the Reagan campaign’s efforts in the Northeast that year, during the California governor’s second run at the White House. He worked closely with the Reagan adviser Roy Cohn.
>Cohn [introduced](https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/06/donald-trump-roy-cohn-relationship) Stone to his friend and protégé Donald Trump, then a private businessman. At Stone’s urging, Trump, who was in his 30s, became a major donor to Reagan’s second presidential campaign. The two men hit it off—the start of a tumultuous relationship that spanned both business and politics over the next three decades.
>After Reagan won the White House, Stone founded one of Washington’s first major lobbying firms with friends from his Young Republicans and campaign days: Charles Black and Manafort. As Foer [has written](https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/paul-manafort-american-hustler/550925/), Black, Manafort, and Stone pioneered a new type of influence peddling that was hardball and morally dubious. One of their first clients: Trump and the Trump Organization, his family business.
With that in mind, let’s examine one of the older conspiracy theories about Cohn:
(1984) [Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat, and the CIA by Jim Hougan](https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Agenda-Watergate-Deep-Throat/dp/0394514289):
>”According to fugitive ex-CIA officer Frank Terpil, CIA-directed sexual blackmailing operations were intensive in Washington at about the time of the Watergate scandal. One of those operations, Terpil claims, was run by his former partner, Ed Wilson. Wilson’s base of operations for arranging trysts for the politically powerful was, Terpil says, Korean agent Ton Sun Park’s George Town Club. In a letter to the author, Terpil explained that historically, one of Wilson’s Agency jobs was to subvert members of both houses [of Congress] by any means necessary… Certain people could be easily coerced by living out their sexual fantasies in the flesh… A remembrance of these occasions [was] permanently recorded via selected cameras… The technicians in charge of filming. . .[were] TSD [Technical Services Division of the CIA]… The unwitting porno stars advanced in their political careers, some of [whom] may still be in office.”
>…Ton Sun Park, the owner of the George Town Club where Wilson ran his sexual blackmail scheme, was an associate of radical cult leader Sun Myung Moon. October 31, 1978, a report printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations, ‘Investigation of Korean-American Relations’: “During 1976, the subcommittee also received information about an apparent attempt by Moon and his followers–along with Tong-sun Park–to buy a controlling interest in the Diplomat National Bank (DNB), which opened in Washington D.C., in December 1975. Neil Salonen, president of the UC of America, was called to testify concerning this and other allegations. Salonen said he had bought DNB stock at the suggestion of Pak Bo Hi, but denied the UC was in any way involved in financing the DNB stock purchases.” Moon has been a major anti-communist activist and is connected to all the reactionary elements within this movement, most notably those involved with the World Anti-Communist League. These include Cercle members Count Hans Huyn and Otto von Habsburg in Bavaria, Germany, Paul Vanden Boeynants in Belgium, and Arnaud de Borchgrave, Rev. Jerry Falwell, George Bush, John Singlaub, and many others in the United States. Moon has also been tied to sexual blackmail rings. December 20, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review (EIR), ‘The ‘No Soul’ Gang Behind Reverend Moon’s Gnostic Sex Cult’: “The sex is a specialty of Moon’s own Gnostic “family” cult. Remember the Congressional Madam scandals of the 1970s, featuring Tong Sun Park and Suzy Park Thomson? That was just the tip of the iceberg of “The Reverend” Moon’s sexual-favors operation. Military intelligence officers who investigated Unification Church operations in Washington in the 1970s and ’80s, report that the recruitment device used on ranking, conservative political and military officials was to hold weekly orgies, arranged by Col. Bo Hi Pak, the Unification Church official who was a top officer of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA). The special treat at these affairs were the “Little Angels”, Korean schoolgirls brought over by Moon as a singing group. The photo files from these sessions are reported to be a powerful influence in certain circles to this very day.” DeCamp again, p. 179-180: “Gray’s associate Wilson was apparently continuing the work of a reported collaborator of Gray from the 1950’s McCarthy committee counsel Roy Cohn [of Permindex, according to EIR; and connections to Fascist International in Europe since the early 1950s], now dead of AIDS. According to the former head of the vice squad for one of America’s biggest cities, Cohn’s job was to run the little boys. Say you had an admiral, a general, a congressman, who did not want to go along with the program. Cohn’s job was to set them up, then they would go along. Cohn told me that himself.”
(Because I’m lazy, I used the above quote from [this crazily formatted site](https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-1202.html). Feel free to discount it if you like, but considering the topic, I felt it relevant.)
So, to recap, in the 1970’s while Trump was just starting out he befriended both John Casablancas, a modeling agent with a predilection for young girls, Roger Stone, a Republican dirty trickster involved in Watergate, and Roy Cohn, a hardline anticommunist and closeted homosexual, who introduced Trump to Rupert Murdoch and took him to sex parties at Studio 54 while Cohn was allegedly also involved in sexual blackmail operations for people affiliated with the CIA. Both Stone and Manafort would later be revealed to be active swingers with a taste for sex clubs and cuckoldry.
More in Part 2.