A spokesperson for first lady Melania Trump condemned "main stream media" for allowing "the laundry list of salacious & flat-out false reporting" by tabloids to dominate headlines. Although Trump's aide did not specify exactly which news reports had spurred the pushback, a number of news outlets have recently published reports claiming the first lady's marriage has suffered since allegations the president had previously had an extramarital affair with an adult film star first surfaced.
"The laundry list of salacious & flat-out false reporting about Mrs. Trump by tabloid publications & TV shows has seeped into 'main stream media' reporting," Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's director of communications, wrote in a tweet published Friday. "She is focused on her family & role as FLOTUS - not the unrealistic scenarios being peddled daily by the fake news."
The Office of the First Lady announced Tuesday that Trump would not join President Donald Trump on his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as originally planned, citing some unnamed scheduling and logistical issues. Instead of accompanying her husband to Davos, the first lady visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. on Thursday before flying to West Palm Beach, Florida.
At the time, a number of news outlets, including CNN and Newsweek, implied the first lady's last-minute change of plans was the result of a report in the Wall Street Journal, which alleged the president's lawyer had paid adult film star Stormy Daniels more than $100,000 to hide an affair she'd had with President Trump in 2006. (Trump's lawyer denies the affair.) Some news outlets have also sought to read into the fact that neither the president nor the first lady publicly acknowledged their 13th wedding anniversary on Jan. 22.
But while the first lady's team would likely prefer to see an end to reports speculating on the first lady's marriage, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, doesn't appear to be falling out of the news just yet. Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel announced Thursday he would interview Daniels on his show Jimmy Kimmel Live! following President Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday. In announcing the news over Twitter, Kimmel called Daniels "very gifted" and said he had "many questions" for her.
While Daniels has recently denied having had an affair with President Trump, her remarks contradict an interview she did in 2011 with the tabloid In Touch. In that interview, Daniels reportedly passed a polygraph test and her story of the affair was corroborated by friends whom In Touch said had also passed polygraph tests. According to NPR, the Trumps would have been married for roughly a year and a half and their son Barron would have been just four months old at the time of the alleged affair. Daniels' 2011 interview with In Touch reportedly predated a nondisclosure agreement she allegedly signed in exchange for $130,000.
However, the alleged affair with Daniels isn't the only rumor of infidelity that's dogged the president recently. In an interview on Real Time with Bill Maher, Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff appeared to imply President Trump was having an affair with Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Haley refuted that claim in an interview with Politico's Women Rule podcast, calling it "highly offensive" and "disgusting." She also claimed she was never alone with President Trump. Although President Trump has not specifically addressed allegations of an affair with Haley, he has said Wolff's book was "full of lies."
However, recent reports claiming the president has had an extramarital affair are not the first time news outlets have alleged the Trumps don't have a happy marriage. The couple's interactions at the president's inauguration last year also generated rumors of an unhappy marriage.