In a story published by The Daily Beast website, attorney Michael Cohen was quoted as threatening a reporter with legal action over a story looking into decades-old allegations reportedly made by Trump’s first wife, Ivana Trump, during their divorce proceedings.
“I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen was quoted as saying by the website, and warned the reporter of “disgusting” consequences.
Cohen, whose email signature identifies him as “Executive Vice President and Special Counsel” to the businessman, was answering questions about Ivana Trump using the word “rape” in a deposition to describe a 1989 sexual encounter with Donald Trump, first described in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J Trump.
In a statement, Cohen apologised for his comments; “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.
“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. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment — which I do not believe — and which I apologise for entirely.”
By phone on CNN, Trump said he disagreed with Cohen’s assertion, but had no plans to fire him.
His campaign released a statement from Ivana Trump calling the story “totally without merit”: “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.”