- President Donald Trump was reportedly irate that first lady Melania Trump’s TV aboard Air Force One was set to CNN.
- In a statement Wednesday, spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said the first lady watches “any channel she wants”, refusing to comment on the report directly.
- Grisham also said it “seems kind of silly to worry about” if the first lady heard the tape released by Michael Cohen’s attorney on Tuesday night of then-Republican presidential candidate Trump and Cohen discussing payments to a former Playboy model who claimed she had a sexual relationship with Trump years earlier.
Melania Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement on Wednesday that the first lady watches “any channel she wants” after The New York Times reported President Donald Trump was irate that her TV aboard Air Force One was set to CNN.
In the statement to CNN’s Kate Bennett, Grisham said it “seems kind of silly to worry about” if the first lady heard the tape released by Michael Cohen’s attorney on Tuesday night of then-Republican presidential candidate Trump and Cohen discussing payments to a former Playboy model who claimed she had a sexual relationship with Trump years earlier.
Trump reportedly fumed during his recent European tour after staff members violated his rule and didn’t change her TV channel to Fox News aboard Air Force One, according to the Times report. White House staffers had apparently set Melania’s TV to CNN instead of Fox News.
In the statement, Grisham pivoted to neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a disease where babies are exposed to opiates in the womb when their mothers take the drugs. The first lady visited a hospital in Tennessee on Tuesday and participated in a roundtable discussion about NAS.
“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,” Grisham said.
NEW: I asked @StephGrisham45 whether @FLOTUS had comment on the new Trump/Cohen tape details, and if she indeed was watching @CNN aboard Air Force One, upsetting the president, as @maggieNYT & @katierogers reported last night. Here's the response I got: pic.twitter.com/SJbxbnolMp
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) July 25, 2018
The president and his advisers have a rule where each trip starts by tuning into Fox News, according to an email chain between officials in the White House Military Office and the White House Communications Agency obtained by The Times.
The email reportedly described the incident as causing “a bit of a stir” aboard Air Force One, and in it the White House officials discussed ordering additional TVs so the president and first lady could watch what they want in their separate hotel rooms when travelling. The email concluded by saying all TVs should be set to Fox News in the future, according to the report.
Appearing on CNN Tuesday night, Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, released the audio of a 2016 conversation between Cohen and Trump. The two men can be heard discussing payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who had agreed to give her story to the National Enquirer in exchange for $US150,000.
Bennett had asked Grisham if the first lady had any comment on the tape. Melania and Donald Trump’s son was reportedly months old when the alleged affair began, according to a New Yorker investigation.
David Choi contributed to this post.
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