by Whitney Webb, MintPress News:
Billionaire “Democratic” candidate Mike Bloomberg has ties to Leslie Wexner, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffery Epstein among other notables like the recently convicted Harvey Weinstein.
fter his late jump into the Democratic primary and, as critics argue, purchasing his way into the primary debates, former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg has received mixed coverage from corporate media, with many negative critiques of the current presidential contender’s history, conduct and connections.
Yet, despite efforts by other campaigns and more progressive-leaning media outlets to dampen Bloomberg’s chances at the nomination, one clear weakness of Bloomberg’s has thus far evaded meaningful media coverage: his ties to key players in the Epstein scandal, including Leslie Wexner, Ghislaine Maxwell and even Jeffrey Epstein himself.
Silence among outlets that largely oppose Bloomberg’s candidacy regarding his connections to Epstein and those in his close social orbit is odd, especially when reporting on an individual’s connections to the intelligence-linked pedophile are a sure-fire way to generate considerable negative attention and fodder for rival campaigns. This is particularly striking given that the numerous accusations that Bloomberg has long stoked a toxic culture of sexual harassment at his company, resulting in no small number of non-disclosure agreements over the years, have received some media attention. Yet, the fact that many of Bloomberg’s close friends have been accused of far, far worse has received hardly any coverage by comparison.
For instance, when it was announced last week that the controlling stake in the Leslie Wexner-owned lingerie company Victoria’s Secret would be sold to a private equity firm called Sycamore Partners, only one media outlet — The Intercept — revealed that Bloomberg has at least $136 million of his money in that firm. The Intercept noted in passing that Wexner — the source of most of Jeffrey Epstein’s supposed fortune, his close collaborator for decades and alleged rapist of many of his victims — had been pressured to step down following the scandal, which also hit Wexner-owned companies hard and had forced the Ohio-based billionaire to seek a buyer for his lingerie brand and its tarnished reputation. Yet, the outlet did not make the direct connection that Sycamore Partners-backer Bloomberg is a friend of Wexner’s and has attended Wexner’s personal social parties for years prior to the most recent scandal.
Here's alleged-rapist Mike Bloomberg attending a fancy horse party at Les Wexner's place (Wexner furthest right) in 2010, about a year before Wexner formally transferred ownership of his Manhattan townhouse to Jeffrey Epstein. Cheers to good friends 😊 pic.twitter.com/gS8wpUVF00
— Expert Voices PhD 🦌 Lodge Group Official (@wash_cloth) February 17, 2020
Yet, even well before this recent opportunity to point out Bloomberg’s ties to Leslie Wexner, there have been plenty of opportunities for the media to question Bloomberg about his now-infamous picture with Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Mossad-connected Robert Maxwell and Epstein’s alleged madam and co-conspirator.
That picture, taken in 2013 at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, has not been mentioned by mainstream media following the launch of Bloomberg’s candidacy late last November. Similarly, mainstream media have failed to question Bloomberg regarding why his name and five different telephone numbers for him appear in Jeffrey Epstein’s infamous list of contacts often referred to as his “little black book.”
Bloomberg and the Manhattan Swamp
The extent of the Maxwell-Bloomberg relationship is unknown, though Bloomberg’s deep ties to his former employer Salomon Brothers is a possible link, given that that firm served as one of the Maxwell family’s main investment bankers in the years prior to and following Robert Maxwell’s mysterious death in 1991. Similarly, Epstein had close ties to prominent figures on Wall Street, some dating back to his time at Bear Stearns, who are also close to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg and Epstein also shared close friendships with some of the same New York media executives like Mort Zuckerman. Media outlets have described Zuckerman, a former business partner of Epstein’s, as Bloomberg’s “long-time enabler.” In another example, Epstein’s former publicist Howard Rubenstein is a long-time supporter of Bloomberg and was reported to be the driving force behind Bloomberg’s controversial push to run around mayoral term limits and pursue a third term as Mayor of New York.
Another mutual Epstein-Bloomberg associate is disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was part of an investment group with Epstein that sought to purchase New York magazine in 2003. Another member of that investment group was frequent MSNBC commentator Donny Deutsch, who has recently fervently backed Bloomberg’s candidacy.
Weinstein was recently convicted of rape and has dozens of accusers, whose decision to come forward about Weinstein’s sex crimes in recent years helped spark the “Me Too” movement. Weinstein also has ties to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who was a close friend and business associate of Epstein’s, and it was Barak who personally introduced Weinstein to former Mossad spies that Weinstein hired to intimidate his accusers. In addition to being Prime Minister, Barak is also the former head of Israeli military intelligence, the foreign intelligence agency that sponsored Epstein’s sexual blackmail operation involving underage girls in the United States.
Bloomberg’s candidacy has yet to be strongly challenged over his ties to Weinstein, which are considerable. For instance, Weinstein was a major backer of Bloomberg’s mayoral campaigns and even recorded robocalls on Bloomberg’s behalf to boost his election chances. Bloomberg, in turn, appointed Weinstein to a charity board and Weinstein later praised Bloomberg for aiding his film company. While Bloomberg’s ties to Wexner, Epstein and Maxwell have gotten the silent treatment, some outlets (mostly right-leaning) have covered the Bloomberg-Weinstein ties, but there has been little pressure on Bloomberg from mainstream media to address those ties directly.
Another close Bloomberg associate who recently has been accused by numerous women of sexual harassment is hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt. Steinhardt is a long-time fixture in Bloomberg’s social circle and has long appeared at Bloomberg’s dinner parties. Steinhardt is also connected to Leslie Wexner through his membership in the so-called “Mega Group” — an exclusive group of organized-crime-linked “mega” donors to pro-Israel causes that Wexner co-founded in 1991. Steinhardt also boasts close ties to the now deceased founder of Glencore, the Mossad-linked Marc Rich, and Steinhardt — along with top Israeli politicians and spies — aggressively lobbied former President Bill Clinton to controversially pardon Rich before leaving office.
“Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are”
The oft-quoted saying “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are,” seems to hold true for Bloomberg. For instance, his eponymous media conglomerate has received no small number of lawsuits over the years alleging rampant sexual harassment and even the rape of female workers, much of its allegedly egged on by Bloomberg’s long history of comments that have been derided as sexist. Many of those lawsuits ended in female accusers being asked to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). More recently, The Nation reported that Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign is making use of NDAs in such a way “that could prevent staffers from reporting workplace abuse.”