In a stark refutation of an earlier New York Times story — one that alleged President Trump demanded his staff change the channel in a furious rage when he discovered Melania Trump’s television aboard Air Force One was tuned to CNN — the First Lady’s official spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham denied the entire matter as unimportant and baseless in fact, according to CNN.
Grisham spoke with CNN reporters on Wednesday, relaying her version of events and making it very clear that there was more pressing business on Melania’s plate, taking the time to infer that the press was highly focused on dramatic minutia rather than on charitable acts and deeds.
“Did you know that every 15 minutes a baby is born with NAS? Maybe you’d like to talk about the 160,000 kids who skip school every day for fear of being bullied, or that 280,000 students are physically attacked in schools every month,” Grisham said. “Seems kind of silly to worry about what channel she watches on TV (any channel she wants btw) or if she heard some recording on the news.”
The news comes as CNN recently aired a bit of the so-called Cohen tapes, referring to secret tapes recorded by Donald Trump’s former legal counsel — Mr. Michael Cohen — without Trump’s knowledge. Grisham did not speak to these matters at all, focusing only on the CNN channel controversy and Melania’s charitable work under the “Be Best” campaign banner, according to Newsweek.
The subject matter being discussed on the tapes is the alleged affair between Trump and former Playboy model Karen McDougal that may have taken place 12 years ago. Trump’s camp denies the event ever occurred and that the discussed payment in the tape refers to the purchase of the story, not an admission of guilt of the act, according to The Sun.
Cohen’s camp, including his own lawyer Lanny Davis, suggests otherwise, saying that Trump is afraid of what Cohen is saying to the press and that he offered to pay “cash” for the information purchased by The National Enquirer surrounding the story.
“They fear that he [Cohen] has the truth about Donald Trump. He will someday speak the truth about Donald Trump.”
For his part, Trump’s legal counsel, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, says that Cohen is the one who mentions cash, not Trump, and that he has had expert analysis done on the tape to confirm this. Giuliani also asserts that Cohen is the one that broached the topic of information purchase, not Trump, and that fact is exempt from the recording as it took place previous to the recording beginning.
“Suggesting otherwise is ridiculous and inconsistent with the rest of the conversation, during which it was discussed doing it through a corporation.”
President Trump expressed displeasure over being recorded without his express knowledge or permission, taking to Twitter to air his grievances over Cohen’s apparent duplicity.
What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2018
Conservatives on social media sites, particularly on the popular Reddit community and Trump supporting news forum, r/the_donald/, mocked the CNN tapes for revealing Trump’s preference for Coke, and that he asks for it politely, saying “please” in the revealed tapes. The Huffington Post also reported on this Twitter phenomenon, with Trump’s enthusiastic bellow of “Get me a Coke, please!” catching on with social media users, threatening to become viral.
The Failing New York Times criticized Secretary of State Pompeo for being AWOL (missing), when in fact he was flying to North Korea. Fake News, so bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
President Donald Trump and The New York Times, the largest shareholder at one time — and now second largest shareholder according to The Hill — being Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, have long held an adversarial relationship. Trump often refers to the publication in tweets and in public speeches as “the failing New York Times,” often indicating their apparent bias against him and his administration.