Melania Trump Demands Retraction Of 'People' Reporter's Donald Trump Accusation
Donald Trump seems to be losing supporters on all sides, but clearly still has a few people in his corner. His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, is one of them. And now, his wife has finally spoken up about the recent allegations of sexual assault against Trump. On Thursday evening, Melania Trump posted a statement demanding a retraction of reporter Natasha Stoynoff's People story, in which Stoynoff levied her own accusations of sexual assault against the Republican presidential nominee.
Natasha Stoynoff was a writer assigned to the "Donald Trump beat" in the early 2000s. She allegedly knew him and his family (including wife Melania Trump) quite well. In her first person account of Trump's alleged sexual assault and pursuit of her while married to Melania (who was pregnant for son Barron at the time) for People, Stoynoff remembered her interactions with both Melania and Donald Trump fairly fondly:
Then, in December of 2005 (right around the time that Trump was taped having a lewd conversation about kissing women without their permission and "grabbing them by the p---sy"), Stoynoff alleges that her relationship with the Trumps changed. She wrote that she and Trump were left alone during an interview, while Melania went to change, and Trump allegedly decided he wanted to show her a particularly "tremendous" room:
Melania Trump this week had her lawyers contact People Editor-In-Chief Jess Cagle and demand a retraction of the story because she has taken umbrage with one particular element. She is not asking for a retraction based on Stoynoff's claim that Trump sexually assaulted her, nor her recollection of Trump telling her they were going to have an affair (as though she had no say in the matter). In the latter instance, Stoynoff claimed,
NOT THAT IT MATTERS, but here's Natasha Stoynoff around the time the assault happened. She was gorgeous. Just proves he lied (again). pic.twitter.com/HIEGegCZ6L— shauna (@goldengateblond) October 13, 2016
Melania Trump's furious letter from her lawyer, Charles Harder, however, did not address that allegation. Instead, the letter demanded a prominent retraction and apology, based on this segment of the People piece:
Is it going to turn out that it was Michelle Obama, not Melania Trump, who didn't bump into Natasha Stoynoff on Fifth Avenue? https://t.co/34JVX3lmCS— Claire Phipps (@Claire_Phipps) October 13, 2016
To be clear: Melania Trump went through the effort of having her lawyer draft a letter demanding that People print a retraction... but only because she didn't want anyone to think she and Stoynoff were friends. But the part of the story where her husband allegedly sexually assaulted and pursued the People reporter apparently didn't register.
In a statement on Thursday night, People Editor in Chief Cagle wrote: