Tuesday, July 28, 2015


First, regarding the old news in the Daily Beast's Trump rape story: If this were going to hurt Trump's reputation, it would have done so long ago. The story's been out there forever, and the accuser, for better or worse, walked it back. It's not a Bill Cosby situation -- there aren't dozens of other women making similar accusations. So I suspect the old report will do no damage:
... [Donald Trump's] ex-wife Ivana Trump once used “rape” to describe an incident between them in 1989. She later said she felt “violated” by the experience.

... Ivana Trump’s assertion of “rape” came in a deposition -- part of the early ’90s divorce case between the Trumps, and revealed in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump.
Go to the link for a description of violent marital sex -- which I'd certainly consider rape. (More on that below.) But Ivana qualified her accusation at the time the book was published:
When Lost Tycoon was about to be printed, Donald Trump and his lawyers provided a statement from Ivana, which was posted on the first page of the book. In it, Ivana confirms that she had “felt violated” and that she had stated that her husband had raped her during a divorce deposition. But Ivana sought to soften her earlier statement.

“During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me,” the Ivana Trump statement said. “[O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."
Yes, right now that brings to mind the settlements and confidentiality agreements that have kept Bill Cosby out of prison. But unless other women come forward with similar accusations against Trump, his fans will believe what they want to believe.

Especially because they're going to regard the dredging up of this story as a plot against their hero by the liberal media -- or the Republican establishment. Also: What about Bill Clinton?!?!

Thus, we have Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:
The liberal media and GOP elites couldn’t take down Trump with their nonstop attacks.
Trump is up in the polls.

Now this...

So Clinton screwed anything that moved and now they’re making an issue out of a nasty divorce.
They have no shame....

So, who fed this to the Daily Beast, the Bushes or the Clintons?
Also see Robert Stacy McCain -- who, unlike Hoft, hasn't been rooting for Trump:
So what? When a rich man’s wife divorces him, she always accuses him of awful things. It’s a shakedown: “Give me the money I want or I’ll drag your name through the mud and make an ugly spectacle of it.”

Who knows if it’s true? And who cares? Ivana got her money and Trump moved on with his life. It’s over. Ancient history.
I think these arguments are going to be persuasive to the Trumpites.

And now to the aspect of this story that's attracting much of the
media attention:
Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, “You’re talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.”

“It is true,” Cohen added. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”

... That is not true. In New York, there used to be a so-called marital rape exemption to the law. It was struck down in 1984.
The fact that Trump's lawyer doesn't know the law in his own state will be treated as yet another a sign that Trump lacks the judgment to be president. But do you think his fans will care that the lawyer is ignorant? I've watched these folks for years. I think they hate genuinely smart, sophisticated lawyers. I think they very much agree with Antonin Scalia's critique of the federal judiciary (and, implicitly, the entire universe of elite lawyers) in his same-sex marriage dissent:
... the Federal Judiciary is hardly a cross-section of America. Take, for example, this Court, which consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School. Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single Southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner (California does not count). Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans), or even a Protestant of any denomination.
And I think Trump fans will savor the fact that Michael Cohen is the most Trump-esque lawyer ever:
Trump’s lawyer then changed tactics, lobbing insults and threatening a lawsuit if a story was published.

“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.
There'll have to be more incidents of this kind for this story to leave a mark on Trump. Meanwhile, I'm just savoring the detail that Trump was said to be angry at Ivana because he felt mistreated by a plastic surgeon she'd recommended -- for an operation described in the Daily Beast story as "painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot." Yes, Trump was going bald, and instead of getting hair plugs or trying the then-new drug Rogaine, he had his scalp surgically shrunk. The rich really are very different from you and me.


And if you're thinking what this tweeter is thinking about the first GOP debate...

Don't forget how a question to Newt Gingrich about his marital troubles backfired on CNN's John King in 2012. I don't think I'd go there. (And do you think Reince Priebus wants that question asked in a GOP debate in the Todd Akin era, even if it's asked of Trump?)


UPDATE: In a new interview, Ivana disavows the rape allegation and says Trump "would make an incredible president." End of story.


mlbxxxxxx said...

"Who knows if it’s true? And who cares?"

Yeah, this is not the silver bullet that's going to get Trump. They wouldn't care even if it was true. Trump supporters probably still support Cosby and think he's getting a bad rap.

Victor said...

When they shrunk his scalp, I think they took out the part of his brain that deals with empathy and humility.

Unknown said...

So Donald Trump is a nasty bit of work. That just increases his appeal to his followers.

Glennis 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?

I'm sure that's going to be a big asset to Trump's presidential campaign, the fact that a spokesperson of his uses this kind of discourse.

Glennis said...

So after making that comment, I waded through the comments section at Daily Beast.

How wrong am I? "Trump and his lawyers will sue these fools back to the Dark Ages...Get medieval on them, Donald !...Go Trump ! Make America Great Again!"

Nothing like an asshole authoritarian to inspire the masses.

CH said...

Our very own Berlusconi. One can only hope our version is less tenacious.

Belvoir said...

What's amusing is this story seems to probably come somehow from Republican oppo research.

The Dems would LOVE to have Trump to run Hillary against. The call is coming from inside the house.