A spokeswoman for Melania Trump lashed out at the “laundry list of salacious & flat-out false reporting” about the first lady on Friday as allegations of a past extramarital affair by President Donald Trump have grabbed headlines.
It was unclear what specific report the first lady’s team was responding to. But several articles in recent days have linked her absence on the president’s overseas trip to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to allegations that Donald Trump had sex with a former adult film actress in 2006 shortly after he married Melania Trump.
A CNN report published Thursday noted that the first lady had endured “a difficult start to 2018” as outlets covered claims, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, that the president’s longtime personal lawyer paid Stephanie Clifford, a porn star who performs under the name Stormy Daniels, $130,000 before the 2016 election as part of a nondisclosure agreement to cover up the affair.
On Friday, the Daily Mail tabloid further connected the dots, writing that the first lady was staying at a “posh D.C. hotel away from President Trump” in response to the allegations of an affair.
POLITICO on Friday also published an interview with the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, in which she dismissed rumors of an affairs with the president as “highly offensive” and “disgusting.”
Stephanie Grisham, the communications director for the first lady, pushed back against media coverage of the East Wing in a tweet on Friday.
“The laundry list of salacious & flat-out false reporting about Mrs. Trump by tabloid publications & TV shows has seeped into ‘main stream media’ reporting,” she wrote. “She is focused on her family & role as FLOTUS — not the unrealistic scenarios being peddled daily by the fake news.”
White House officials have denied the allegations, which were detailed in The Journal and subsequently in a 2011 In Touch Weekly interview with Clifford. In the interview, she discussed her alleged romantic encounter with Trump in great detail, prior to signing her nondisclosure agreement.
During the lengthy sit-down, Clifford described sex with Trump as “textbook generic” and said he “quickly changed the subject” when she brought up his wife.
The president arrived in Davos, Switzerland, for the elite economic on Thursday and departed Friday. Melania Trump was originally scheduled to travel with him but reportedly canceled at the last minute, without a clear explanation.
Instead, the first lady made a trip to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington to mark the upcoming Holocaust Remembrance Day before flying down to the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort on Friday.
Trump’s communications team similarly rebutted a November report in Vanity Fair that painted the first lady as an unwilling participant in her role, calling the article “salacious” and “shameful.”