The Slatest

Donald Trump Lawyer Responds to Trump Rape Allegation by Not Knowing What Rape Is

Donald Trump and his then-wife Ivana in Dec. 1989.

Photo by SWERZEY/AFP/Getty Images

The Daily Beast reported a decades-old allegation of sexual assault against Donald Trump on Monday. The allegation comes via the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump which detailed a troubling and violent scene as told by Trump’s former wife, Ivana Trump, during a deposition as part of the couple’s divorce proceedings. It’s a gruesome account, which Ivana Trump reportedly described as rape to friends. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has denied the allegation.

It’s an old allegation, but Trump is, of course, now running for president and old allegations get renewed scrutiny if you want to be president. The Daily Beast presumably got in contact with the Trump campaign to get a comment on the events described in Ivana Trump’s deposition, and they were directed to Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization. Let’s just say, if this wasn’t going to be a story before, it is now. Here’s what Cohen had to say:

“It’s not the word that you’re trying to make it into,” Cohen told The Daily Beast, saying Ivana Trump was talking about how “she felt raped emotionally…She was not referring to it [as] a criminal matter, and not in its literal sense, though there’s many literal senses to the word…” “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.” “It is true,” Cohen added. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”

The marital-rape-not-being-rape (side) defense is pretty obviously incorrect. Perhaps sensing his approach to explaining his boss’ side of the story wasn’t going very well, Cohen regrouped and went on a rampage of Trumpian proportions:

“Though there’s many literal senses to the word, if you distort it, and you put Mr. Trump’s name there onto it, rest assured, you will suffer the consequences. So you do whatever you want. You want to ruin your life at the age of 20? You do that, and I’ll be happy to serve it right up to you,” he added. “I think you should go ahead and you should write the story that you plan on writing. I think you should do it. Because I think you’re an idiot. And I think your paper’s a joke, and it’s going to be my absolute pleasure to serve you with a $500 million lawsuit, like I told [you] I did it to Univision,” Cohen continued.