President Donald Trump’s time in the spotlight has consistently been dogged by reports of extramarital affairs and accusations of sexual assault all of which he denies out of hand. But as evidence has mounted against Donald in key instances, like reports from porn star Stormy Daniels or Jill Harth, we’ve often wondered about First Lady Melania Trump’s side of things — how is she hearing the news? What does Donald say about it? In new tell-all book Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump, Donald’s former attorney Michael Cohen reports that Donald himself said very little to his wife on the matter — instead, Cohen details his responsibility of having to call Melania and repeat a denial crafted by the President himself, one Cohen assures the reader consists only of lies. So, there’s our answer: When a new Trump accusation about his sexual misconduct was on the front page, it was Cohen who was picking up the phone to reassure Melania that none of it was true.
Cohen describes two phone calls in particular with Melania over his 12 years as Donald’s lawyer, though he says that over his tenure “Donald would repeatedly have [him] call Melania to reaffirm his innocence when he was accused of cheating on her.” The first conversation he describes is about Stormy Daniels and the reports that Cohen paid her $130,000 to stay quiet about her dalliance with Donald, at the POTUS’ behest.
“Melania Trump didn’t sound pleased to be on the phone. I knew Mrs. Trump well, and I could tell instantly from her tone of voice that she had been compelled to participate in the call,” Cohen writes. “At the urging of the President, I started to recite the same story I’d told The New York Times. It was sickening that I was lying to another man’s wife about that man’s infidelity, crossing so many boundaries of basic decency it boggled the mind…as I droned on about the Daniels affair, I was interrupted by the First Lady.”
“‘I know all of this,’ she said curtly,” writes Cohen. “I stopped talking, shaking my head. It was evident to me that she didn’t believe the story, or want anything further to do with the transparent lies the President was childishly attempting to tell her via me.”
While Donald sat in on that particular call, a three-way call experience we can’t imagine any of them would want to repeat, Cohen says he was often tasked with speaking to Melania alone as well. He describes denying Jill Harth’s claims that Donald had groped her to Melania — and his confidence throughout that Melania knows he is lying.
“I called Melania, as instructed, and we performed a game of kabuki theater, each of us aware of the deception but following an unspoken rule that we wouldn’t acknowledge that reality,” Cohen writes. “I told her about the false accusations regarding Jill Harth and the story her ex-husband was trying to sell about Trump trying to force himself on her. She listened silently as I described the mutual denials, all while I could tell she knew I was lying.”
Cohen renounces his own actions plenty in Disloyal, and his regret is palpable in all recollections of talking to Melania about Donald’s affairs and assaults — each time, leaving convinced that Melania hadn’t believed a word. In the end, only Melania knows what she believes.
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