WASHINGTON—Noting multiple occasions when he had applauded the disgraced hedge fund manager’s affable personality, President Donald Trump claimed Monday that he tried to warn the public about Jeffrey Epstein’s behavior by praising him as a terrific guy. “From day one, I was clearly trying to send a message to you people by revealing that I enjoyed spending time with Jeffrey,” said Trump, arguing that he tried to inform the American people about the convicted sex offender by stating that he looked back positively on their 15-year-long relationship and considered him a close personal friend. “Can’t you people read between the lines? I appeared in multiple photos with him and we attended dozens of functions together, so you should’ve known Epstein was really bad news. By partying with him and publicly admiring his lifestyle, I all but told you directly that Jeffery’s a total scumbag.” At press time, Trump claimed that he also attempted to tip off the public by repeatedly expressing his admiration for Mohammad bin Salman and Bill O’Reilly.