World

Melania Trump brushes off question about president's alleged infidelities

Melania Trump says she loves President Donald Trump and has "much more important things to think about" than allegations he cheated on her with a porn star, a Playboy Playmate or anyone else.

Marks the 1st time she has addressed affair allegations since president's hush payment scandal

Melania Trump, shown on Aug. 19 with President Donald Trump and their son Barron in Morristown, N.J., told Good Morning America, in an episode airing Friday night that she's not concerned about 'gossip' surrounding her husband. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Melania Trump says in an interview she loves the president and has "much more important things to think about" than allegations he cheated on her with a porn star, a Playboy Playmate or anyone else.

Trump, who was interviewed by ABC while touring Africa last week, said people are just spreading rumours about her marriage.

"I know people like to speculate and media like to speculate about our marriage and circulate the gossip," she said. "But I understand the gossip sells newspapers, magazines ... and, unfortunately, we live in this kind of world today."

She insisted in portions of the interview that aired for the first time Friday on Good Morning America that allegations of her husband's infidelities are not a concern.

Her full interview is set to air Friday night in an ABC News special, Being Melania — The First Lady.

Adult film performer Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal have gone public in recent months with allegations of affairs with Trump.

McDougal alleged a months-long affair with Trump began in 2006 just a few months after Melania gave birth to son Barron. Daniels has spoken about, and in a new memoir written about, a tryst with Trump after a July 2006 charity golf tournament in Nevada.

Hush payments ensnared Trump lawyer Cohen

Trump has acknowledged reimbursing his lawyer for a $130,000 US hush money payment made to Daniels, after first denying knowledge of it.

Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance violations alleging he, Trump and the National Enquirer tabloid were involved in buying the silence of Daniels and McDougal after they alleged affairs with Trump.

Trump has been accused by several women of sexual misconduct and on a 2005 Access Hollywood tape that became public during the last weeks of the 2016 campaign, he boasted about forcibly kissing and grabbing women.

At that time, Melania said she believed her husband and that the accusations were "organized by the opposition."

A defamation lawsuit filed by one his accusers, former The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, is still before the courts. Zervos accuses Trump, the former host of The Apprentice, of kissing her against her will at a 2007 meeting in his New York office, and groping her in a Beverly Hills hotel at a subsequent meeting. Zervos said Trump's denials amounted to defamation and that being branded a "liar" hurt her restaurant business.

In an ABC interview excerpt released earlier this week, Melania said in a response to a question about the #MeToo movement that women who come forth with allegations should have "hard evidence."

"I do stand with women, but we need to show the evidence," she said. "You cannot just say to somebody, 'I was sexually assaulted,' or, 'You did that to me,' because sometimes the media goes too far, and the way they portray some stories it's, it's not correct, it's not right."

Asked in the newly released excerpt if she loves her husband, Trump said, "Yes, we are fine. Yes."

She played down a suggestion the repeated rumours of his philandering had put a strain on their marriage.

"It is not concern and focus of mine," she said. "I'm a mother and a first lady, and I have much more important things to think about and to do."

But when asked if the repeated rumours had hurt her, she paused. Then she reiterated the "media world is speculating.

"Yeah, it's not always pleasant, of course," she said. "But I know what is right and what is wrong and what is true and not true."

Other portions of the interview aired earlier this week featured her saying she could be one of the most bullied people in the world, based on what is said and written about her.

Earlier this year, she launched the Be Best anti-cyberbullying initiative.

With files from CBC News

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