The inevitable "Trump raped his wife" story

The Daily Beast took a predictable swipe at Donald Trump yesterday by generating some “breaking news” which is actually a decades old and long abandoned story from Trump’s high profile divorce from his former wife, Ivana. The “story” in question, which Ivana Trump herself refuted shortly after it initially broke, related to comments she made during their divorce where she said she “felt violated” during a particular sexual encounter.

Business Insider offers a brief history of where this tired old chestnut originated.

When the allegations first surfaced in 1993 Ivana Trump issued a statement clarifying that she didn’t mean the term in a “a literal or criminal sense.”

A spokesperson for Trump, who is currently a frontrunner in many polls of the Republican primary, provided a statement to Business Insider claiming the incident was “old news and it never happened.” They also claimed Trump’s ex-wife, Ivana Trump, made up the “rape” allegation as part of an effort to “exploit” him during their early 90’s divorce proceedings.

“This is an event that has been widely reported on in the past, it is old news and it never happened,” the Trump spokesperson said. “It is a standard lawyer technique, which was used to exploit more money from Mr. Trump especially since he had an ironclad prenuptial agreement.”

This story might not have had enough legs to make it to the front page of the weekly coupon clipper if Trump’s attorney hadn’t decided to fire off a particularly ill considered attack on a reporter. (From The Guardian)

A lawyer and spokesman for current Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump issued a series of vulgar threats to a reporter on Monday, while falsely claiming that it was legal for a husband to rape his wife in New York…

“You’re talking about the front-runner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse,” he said.

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

If this story brings up any information of value, it’s that Donald Trump really needs to work on staffing up his campaign with people who have some experience in the political arena… and that he might need a new lawyer. I’m not sure what sort of time capsule Mr. Cohen has been sealed in, but those assertions are pretty well off the scale. While it’s never been technically “legal to rape your wife” in this country, there was a tradition in the courts that you couldn’t be prosecuted for it because a wife was “not supposed to” refuse consent for sex with her spouse. But even that antiquated concept has been abandoned for decades. (For the record, a consistent, long term refusal to grant consent by either partner is considered valid grounds for divorce in most states, but that doesn’t invalidate the need for consent to actually do the deed.)

But as far as the “charges” go, Mrs. Trump was pretty clear about the word “rape” at the time, saying, I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense. And for what it’s worth, we should find it difficult to separate that tale from the fact that it came out while the couple was in the process of going through a contentious, multi-million dollar divorce. But that’s probably more than enough said on the subject.

Trump has popped up to the top in yet another poll this week, this one coming out of New Hampshire where he is drawing double the support of Jeb Bush. At this point it seems that the Left is beginning to develop a sliver of doubt as to whether or not the “toad at the party” will just go away and are getting down to the business of trying to destroy him just to be on the safe side. But honestly… they’re going to have to do a lot better than this bit of stale, tabloid journalism.