Yet another high-profile liberal icon spent time with Jeffrey Epstein.
Chomsky, 94, reportedly met with Epstein several times in 2015 and 2016, while he was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The meetings reportedly happened long after Epstein had registered as a sex offender.
“First response is that it is none of your business,” Chomsky told the Journal in an email after being asked about his relationship with Epstein. “Or anyone’s. Second is that I knew him and we met occasionally.”
Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in August, 2019 before the well-connected and wealthy financier could go on trial for his alleged decades of grooming and sexual abuse, including rape, of young girls in the 1990s and early 2000s.
In March, 2015, Epstein scheduled a meeting with several academics including Chomsky and Harvard University professor Martin Nowak. Chomsky said they met several times at Nowak’s research institute to discuss neuroscience, among other things.
About two months later, Epstein was scheduled to fly with Chomsky and his wife to have dinner with them as well as Woody Allen and his wife.
At at least one point in 2015, Chomsky was scheduled to fly with Epstein to dine at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse.
Epstein was accused of sexually abusing underage girls at his New York townhouse, located on the Upper East Side. Epstein’s plane, derisively called the “Lolita Express” by some media outlets, was allegedly used to fly underage girls to Epstein’s different properties.
“If there was a flight, which I doubt, it would have been from Boston to New York, 30 minutes,” Chomsky said. “I’m unaware of the principle that requires that I inform you about an evening spent with a great artist.”
Chomsky said his conversations with Epstein involved politics and academics.
Chomsky also told the Journal that at the time he was spending time with Epstein, “what was known about Jeffrey Epstein was that he had been convicted of a crime and had served his sentence. According to U.S. laws and norms, that yields a clean slate.”
Epstein donated at least $850,000 to MIT between 2002 and 2017, MIT has said. The school has since said it was inappropriate to accept Epstein’s donation and said it has donated $850,000 to nonprofits that support sex abuse survivors.
Chomsky does not appear to have met with Epstein on campus or received funding from him, lawyers investigating MIT’s connections to Epstein found, according to the school.
In 2020, Chomsky said people he views as worse than Epstein have also donated to MIT, but he did not mention having a relationship with Epstein then.
Epstein also donated more than $9.1 million to Harvard from 1998 to 2008, Harvard has said. Nowak was punished by Harvard in 2021 for violating university policies regarding Epstein. He reportedly gave Epstein “unrestricted” access to campus including an office on campus and a building key card.
Chomsky has been well respected in elite left-wing circles for decades. He is a hard-left critic of American domestic and foreign policy and has written dozens of books, covering such events and issues as 9/11, anarchy, the Middle East, and media and propaganda.
In 2021, Chomsky argued that unvaccinated people should be separated from the rest of society and that getting food was “actually their problem.”