Trump adviser: 'You cannot rape your spouse'

A top adviser to business mogul Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE on Monday night told a reporter, “You can’t rape your spouse.”

Trump, who is leading the race for the GOP presidential nomination in several polls, quickly distanced himself from the comments by Michael Cohen, Executive Vice President at The Trump Organization and a special counsel to the tycoon. Cohen made the remarks in an interview with The Daily Beast.

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“Mr. Trump didn’t know of his comments, but disagrees with him,” a Trump spokesperson told The Hill.

“Mr. Trump speaks for Mr. Trump and nobody but Mr. Trump speaks for him,” a campaign source told CNN on Tuesday.

Another source also emphasized Cohen is employed by The Trump Organization and not his campaign. 

Cohen’s remarks came in the context of questions about decades-old rape accusations leveled at Trump by his former wife, Ivana Trump.

“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,” Cohen told the Beast.

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

Cohen also threatened to file a lawsuit against the authors if the story was published.

Cohen apologized for his remarks shortly after Trump's spokesman commented.

"As an attorney, husband and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism. They hit me at my core," Cohen said in a statement to CNN.

He suggested he was surprised by the reporter, The Daily Beast's Tim Mak, alluding to his quotes of a profanity-laced threat to pursue legal action against the reporter.

"Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me," Cohen said.

"In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment — which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely," Cohen said in the statement to CNN.

Ivana Trump, in a separate statement on Tuesday to CNN, walked back any allegations of rape against her former husband.

“I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald. The story is totally without merit,” Ivana Trump said. 

“Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised three children that we love and are very proud of. I have nothing but fondness for Donald and wish him the best of luck on his campaign. Incidentally, I think he would make an incredible president,” she added in the statement.

Ivana Trump used the term “rape” in a deposition in their divorce case in the early 1990s, according to The Daily Beast.

She later said she “felt violated” and did “not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”

--This report was updated at 11:13 a.m.