First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpGOP leader's remarks on Fox underscore Trump's power White House orders release of Trump records to Jan. 6 committee Ex-Trump aide sues Grisham over abuse allegations MORE reportedly refused to appear on television with her then-presidential candidate husband following the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward writes in his upcoming book that the first lady rejected a request for a joint appearance with her husband as the campaign tried to control the damage.
“Not doing that,” the first lady said, according to an excerpt from Woodward’s book published by The Guardian. “No way. No, no, no.”
The infamous tape, leaked just weeks ahead of the election, reveals Trump bragging about kissing and groping women without their consent, including saying he would “grab them by the pussy.”
The president, as recently as this week, has questioned the validity of the tape, or suggested that it was leaked “illegally.”
Following the release of the tape, Melania issued a statement saying the language used was "offensive" but said it did "not represent the man that I know."
"The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” Melania Trump said shortly after the release of the tape and after her husband issued an apology. “This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world."
The account in Woodward’s book is yet another example of an allegedly tense relationship between the first couple.
The first lady has made a number of statements appearing to break with her husband during his time in office. Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Manigault Newman: Trump may not 'even be healthy enough' to run in 2024 The Memo: Omarosa beats Trump, potentially opening flood gates Trump loses bid to enforce Omarosa Manigault Newman's NDA MORE wrote in her book that Melania uses fashion choices to “punish” her husband.
Woodward’s book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," details a White House rife with chaos and personal insults. Trump has pushed back on some of the claims and has used the book to suggest that libel laws should be changed.