The Daily Beast published what could be a game-changing article about Donald Trump’s sexual assault of his first wife, Ivana, along with a history of his smarmy attitude toward rape and thuggish threats from his attorney. Predictably, Fox’s Megyn Kelly did her best to soften the blow(s).
The article is titled, “Ex-Wife: Donald Trump Made Me Feel ‘Violated’ During Sex,” and subtitled, “Ivana Trump once accused the real estate tycoon of ‘rape,’ although she later clarified: not in the ‘criminal sense.’”
The authors note that while Trump has accused Mexican immigrants of being rapists, he has a “history of controversial remarks about sexual assault,” and, “as it turns out, his ex-wife Ivana Trump once used ‘rape’ to describe an incident between them in 1989. She later said she felt “violated” by the experience.”
The article details Ivana Trump’s allegations, made during their nasty divorce proceeding, that Donald Trump violently attacked her and then, according to a book that includes the incident, “tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants. Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months.”
Trump denied the allegation and attacked the book's author, back in 1993. But The Daily Beast also notes that Trump has made some questionable statements about sexual assault: He blamed women's service in the military for a rise in military rapes and he suggested that boxer Mike Tyson be allowed to pay “millions and millions” to rape victims in lieu of going to jail, e.g.
But perhaps the most shocking part of the article are the thuggish response of Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. In my recent post about Cohen, I wrote that he is every bit as thin-skinned and obnoxious as his boss. That may have been an understatement.
Besides insisting that Ivana was not "legally" raped, Cohen threatened The Daily Beast:
“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”
“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up…for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet…you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.
The Daily Beast article was posted at 8:35 PM ET. That’s just 20 minutes before The Kelly File’s airtime but enough time for her or at least a staff member to read the entire piece.
But here’s how Kelly covered what she called the breaking news about Trump:
First, she made sure to remind us how popular Trump is. She played a video clip of Trump getting cheered. She followed up by saying, “So we learned a little bit in that little bit. First of all, huge crowds as there continue to be for Donald Trump. The other candidates would love to have the crowds that he gets at his events.” Then she and Fox's Chris Stirewalt chatted about Trump’s candidacy.
Kelly read the headline of the article and noted that “the essence” of the piece is that during their divorce, “which was ugly,” Kelly helpfully noted, Ivana Trump accused Donald Trump of “violent assault, pulling back her arms, pulling out fistfuls of her hair and then, quote, raping her in a vicious manner.”
“He has denied it,” Kelly said, adding that Trump had accused the original author of being vindicative and jealous. As for those shocking comments of Cohen, Kelly merely said, “Somebody who speaks for Donald Trump has come out and denied it as well and added that legally, he says, you cannot rape your spouse. Although I’m not sure about that. …We’ll leave that for another day.”
Instead, Kelly asked Stirewalt, “What does this tell us now?”
“This is old,” he replied.
“Very,” Kelly agreed.
Stirewalt said euphemistically that Donald Trump’s public life goes back to the 1980s and has been “a colorful one at that.”
Kelly said the authors “get around” the age of the story by tying it to Trump’s comments about Mexican rapists. “Then they get into this matter from 1989, in a divorce proceeding, where the audience needs to understand often both sides say very ugly things that may or may not be true.” She never said anything about Trump's other comments on rape.
Stirewalt criticized Cohen – not for threatening The Daily Beast writer but for saying “you can’t rape your spouse.” Nobody mentioned the much, much worse things Cohen said.
Kelly made sure to suggest that whatever happened way back then, Donald is a heckuva father now. “I don’t know what his relationship is like with his ex-wife,” she said. “I know he has a wonderful relationship with his children who - she is their mother, and he hasn’t been given the opportunity to respond to this piece that is just breaking now.”
This could get very interesting.
Watch Fox’s first stab at Trump rehab below, from the July 27 The Kelly File.
Palin’s an idiot. Go Vandals.