Watch Bill Gates squirm when asked about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein on PBS News Hour

Bill Gates maintained, if not a friendship, a social relationship with Jeffrey Epstein for years after Epstein had been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. He was asked about this on PBS News Hour and returned carefully-scripted but awkwardly delivered answers.

JUDY WOODRUFF: I also want to ask you about something else in the public arena. It was reported at that time that 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 have said yourself, in the hopes of raising money?

BILL 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. That goes back a long time ago now. There's β€” so there's nothing new on that.

JUDY WOODRUFF: It was reported that you continued to meet with him over several years, and that β€” in other words, a number of meetings. What did you do when you found out about his background?

BILL GATES: Well, I have said I regretted having those dinners. And there's nothing, absolutely nothing new on that.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Is there a lesson for you, for anyone else looking at this?

BILL GATES: Well, he's dead. So, in general, you always have to be careful. And the β€” I'm very proud of what we have done in philanthropy, very proud of the work of the foundation.