Bob Woodward describes in his new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” not only a White House filled with conflict and chaos but also one with a frosty relationship between the first couple.
Woodward says that first lady Melania Trump refused to be seen on television with her husband after the embarrassing release of the “Access Hollywood” tape in 2016.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 6, 2018
To get more stories like this, subscribe to our newsletter The Daily.
Donald Trump at the time was running for president and the recording of his comments caused a stir in his campaign but did not ultimately prevent him from being elected.
According to the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, Melania refused a request from campaign officials that she appear jointly with Donald soon after the tape was made public. These officials thought that a joint appearance with her husband would show that she was supportive and this would control the fallout of negative publicity from the recording.
But when asked the first lady replied by saying “Not doing that. No way. No, no, no,” according to an account of the interaction found in Woodward’s new book published in The Guardian.
The infamous “Access Hollywood” tape was leaked several weeks before the 2016 presidential election. It shows the president bragging about the liberties that he was able to take with women because he is rich and famous. He said he would routinely kiss and grope women without their consent, and also said he would “grab them by the p—y” and they would not object because of who he is.
Following the tape’s release to the public, Melania issued a statement in which she said that she found the language “offensive” but it did “not represent the man that I know.”
“The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” Melania said. “This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”
The details found in Woodward’s book provides more evidence that there is a very tense relationship between the president and the first lady.
Woodward’s accounts support what was written by former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman wrote in her own book that there is a difficult relationship there. She said that Melania uses fashion choices to “punish” her husband. According to excerpts reported by Newsweek, the former reality television star identified two of the first lady’s outfits as examples: the pink “pussy bow” blouse she wore after the “Access Hollywood” tape circulated, and the “I don’t really care, do u?” jacket she wore when traveling in Texas as the administration was heavily criticized because of its “zero tolerance” immigration policy that resulted in separation of thousands of children from their families.
“Taken as a whole, all of her style rebellions have served the same purpose,” Omarosa wrote in her book. “I believe Melania uses style to punish her husband.”
She also said that the first lady cannot wait for Trump to leave office so she can divorce him.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.