If you want to talk to Bill Gates about megabytes versus gigabytes or Linux’s vulnerabilities, the Microsoft co-founder will be happy to engage. But if you want to see what happens when a human being freezes in the same your sh*tty old PC is always doing, just ask him a question about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
On Tuesday night, PBS News Hour’s Judy Woodruff sat down with the Microsoft co-founder, who is in New York City this week as part of the United Nations General Assembly to address global threats including climate change, COVID-19, and racism. But when the topic turned to Epstein, well, things got painfully cringey—both for Gates and viewers alike.
After more than 10 minutes of niceties, Woodruff turned the topic to Gates’ relationship with Epstein, as Mediaite notes. Here’s how that conversation went:
Woodruff: You had a number of meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, who—when you met him 10 years ago—he was convicted of soliciting prostitution from minors. What did you know about him when you were meeting with him, as you’ve said yourself, in the hopes of raising money?
Gates: You know, I had dinners with him. I regret doing that. He had relationships with people he said would give to global health, which is an interest I have. Not nearly enough philanthropy goes in that direction. Those meetings were a mistake. 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 seemed to question that version of events, noting: “It was reported that you continued to meet with him over several years, and [that there were] a number of meetings. What did you do when you found out about his background?
Then he just basically repeated himself: “You know, I’ve said I regretted having those dinners, and there’s nothing, absolutely nothing new on that.”
Then came the real kicker:
Woodruff: Is there a lesson? For you—for anyone else looking at this?
Gates: Well, he’s dead, so… Ahhhh… In general, you always have to be careful. Uhhhh…
It’s hard to argue with that: Epstein is dead.
You can watch the super awkward exchange beginning around the 10:50 mark above.