Ghislaine Maxwell will be attending the VIP Brain Health Initiative Women's Evening Talk on October 18, 2016 in New York City, hosted by Tina Brown at Spring Studios.
Sylvain Gaboury | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany tried to explain on Thursday why President Donald Trump sent congratulations this week to Ghislaine Maxwell, who is jailed for the sexual abuse of underage girls by Jeffrey Epstein.
"The president found that the last person charged with this case ended up dead in a prison cell," McEnany said in Fox News, referring to Epstein. "And the president wants justice to be given to the victims in this case, and he prefers that this be done in a courtroom."
Trump made the comments Tuesday at a press conference at the White House after a reporter asked him about Maxwell, with whom he made contacts.
"I just wish her all the best, honestly," Trump replied, adding that "he had met her several times over the years."
Given the seriousness of the crimes accused of Maxwell, Trump's sympathy was quickly checked by his critics and at least one member of his own party.
A group, Republican Voters Against Trump, released a 30-second ad Wednesday that Trump was struck for his comments.
"Do you wish her all the best?" asks the ad with photos of Trump and Epstein. "No sympathy for Maxwell's victims? No sympathy for young girls who have been harassed by powerful people?"
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ad.
McEnany, however, declined to suggest that the president should have taken a harder line against Maxwell.
On the contrary, McEnany said Trump was "ahead" of law enforcement and prosecutors when he banned Epstein from his private club in Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, in the early 2000s.
"This president is the president who banned Jeffrey Epstein from coming to Mar-a-Lago," said McEnany. "This president was always up to date before he banished this man from his property, long before the case was even brought to trial."
Trump and Epstein celebrated together in the 1980s and 1990s, but reportedly had an argument sometime between 2002 and 2005. There are conflicting reports of what prompted Trump to end his friendship with the millionaire financier and banish him from Mar-a-Lago.
58-year-old Maxwell was Epstein's long-time girlfriend, who was found dead in his prison cell last year while waiting for the sexual trafficking trial. Prison officials said death was suicide.
Maxwell was arrested on July 2 in a million dollar house in rural New Hampshire. The whereabouts of the late British media baron Robert Maxwell's daughter had been a mystery since Epstein's death, leading to widespread speculation that she had left the United States permanently.
After her arrest, Maxwell was transferred to New York, where she pleaded not guilty to accusing minors of child sex trafficking and perjury.
At Maxwell's trial before the Manhattan Federal Supreme Court, Judge Alison Nathan denied the bail and agreed with prosecutors that Maxwell's "personal risk and triple citizenship in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom represented a" significant risk of escape ".
Maxwell is being held in a federal prison in Brooklyn and is waiting for her trial to begin next summer.
– CNBC's Dan Mangan contributed to this report.