In a piece on Monday for The Daily Beast, Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny reported that Donald Trump made his ex-wife feel “violated” during sex, according to divorce records from 1989.
Linking Trump’s comments on rapists crossing America’s southern border to his alleged behavior three decades ago, The Daily Beast explained:
Not only does the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination have a history of controversial remarks about sexual assault, but as it turns out, his ex-wife Ivana Trump once used “rape” to describe an incident between them in 1989. She later said she felt “violated” by the experience.
That experience, according to The Daily Beast, involved a fight between Trump and his then-wife Ivana over plastic surgery, culminating in a “violent assault,” as reported by Harry Hurt III in his 1993 book, Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump:
What followed was a “violent assault,” according to Lost Tycoon. Donald held back Ivana’s arms and began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her scalp, as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation. He tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants. “Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified. … It is a violent assault,” Hurt writes. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’”
Trump denied the allegations at the time, and wife Ivana later recanted the accusations, stating, “As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”
Today, Ivana Trump rejected the allegations again, stating:
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. 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.
Trump’s lawyer, in disgust, threatened to sue The Daily Beast over the story, adding that marital rape is not a crime in New York (false).
If Trump raped his wife, that’s a horrific crime that deserves prosecution and the attendant media coverage. No one doubts or questions that. That prosecution presumably won’t take place because his ex-wife recanted the charges. But there’s no question that the media’s double standard when it comes to Republican politicians and situations of this sort is egregious. Take, for example, divorce records. Media diligently revisited Trump’s divorce records to uncover this alleged and recanted incident. How many domestic outlets have reported on Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) checkered love life? Sanders divorced his first wife after eighteen months, and according to The Daily Mail (UK), records “reveal that he was married to one woman, yet had his son Levi with a second – long before he went on to marry his current wife.” You haven’t heard that story, in all likelihood. But you’ll hear Trump’s.
You also won’t hear, naturally, about Bill Clinton’s alleged rapes, or about Hillary Clinton’s alleged persecution of those rape victims. You won’t hear about:
Juanita Broaddrick: Broaddrick, a nursing-home employee, told Dateline NBC that at a campaign stop, Clinton invited her to visit his campaign headquarters in Little Rock. Clinton invited himself to her hotel room, where he then foisted himself on her: “I first pushed him away and just told him, ‘No, please don’t do that,’ and I forget, it’s been 21 years, Lisa, and I forget exactly what he was saying,” Broaddrick said. She continued:
It seems like he was making statements that would relate to “Did you not know why I was coming up here?” and I told him at the time, I said, “I’m married, and I have other things going on in my life, and this is something that I’m not interested in.” Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip. He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. … And then he forces me down on the bed. … I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him, “No,” that I didn’t want this to happen … but he wouldn’t listen to me. … He was such a different person at that moment, he was just a vicious awful person.
She openly alleged rape on national television. Clinton denied it. The media then dropped the story. We haven’t heard about it since.
Kathleen Willey: Willey alleged on CBS’ 60 Minutes and in deposition that Clinton grabbed her, kissed her on the mouth, fondled her breast, and put her hand on his penis. Clinton admitted in deposition to kissing her on the forehead, but he said he did so in sympathy for the death of her husband. Willey said she “resisted.”
Paula Jones: Jones alleged that in 1991, Clinton, then-governor of Arkansas, had one of his troopers bring her back to Clinton’s hotel. According to Jones, the trooper told her, “We do this all the time.” She gave the following legal declaration:
Mr. Clinton approached me again, saying, “I love the way your hair flows down your back” and “I love your curves.” While saying these things, Mr. Clinton put his hand on my leg and started sliding his hand toward my pelvic area. I did not consent to him doing this. He also bent down to kiss me on the neck, but I would not let him do so.
I exclaimed, “What are you doing?” and escaped from Mr. Clinton’s reach by walking away from him. I was extremely upset and confused and I did not know what to do. I tried to distract Mr. Clinton by asking him about his wife and her activities, and I sat down at the end of the sofa nearest the door. Mr. Clinton then walked over to the sofa, lowered his trousers and underwear, exposed his penis (which was erect) and told me to “kiss it.”
I was horrified by this. I jumped up from the couch and told Mr. Clinton that I had to go, saying something to the effect that I had to get back to the registration desk. Mr. Clinton, while fondling his penis, said: “Well, I don’t want to make you do anything you don’t want to do.” Mr. Clinton then stood up, pulled up his pants and said: “If you get in trouble for leaving work, have Dave call me immediately and I’ll take care of it.” As I left the room, Mr. Clinton detained me momentarily, looked sternly at me and said: “You are smart. Let’s keep this between ourselves.”
Jones took Clinton’s reference to “Dave,” her employer, as a threat to have her fired if she said anything.
None of these figures will become major issues for the Clintons this time around; they certainly weren’t in 2008.
You also won’t hear about Hillary Clinton laughing at how she got a child rapist a better sentence in 1975, chuckling, “I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.” You won’t hear about how Hillary, in that case, slurred the 12-year-old victim by stating she “sought out older men” and was “emotionally unstable.” You won’t hear about Hillary allegedly threatening Broaddrick, with Broaddrick later relating:
She came over to me, took ahold of my hand and said, “I’ve heard so much about you and I’ve been dying to meet you. … I just want you to know how much that Bill and I appreciate what you do for him.”… This woman, this little, soft-spoken — pardon me for the phrase — dowdy woman that would seem very unassertive, took ahold of my hand and squeezed it and said, “Do you understand? Everything that you do.” I could have passed out at that moment and I got my hand from hers and I left. … She was just holding onto my hand. Because I had started to turn away from her and she held onto my hand and she said, “Do you understand? EVERYTHING that you do,” I mean, cold chills went up my spine. That’s the first time I became afraid of that woman.
You won’t hear about Hillary attacking Bill’s beloved Gennifer Flowers as “trailer trash” or Monica Lewinsky as a “narcissistic looney toon,” or going after Willey, who called Hillary “the war on women, as far as I’m concerned because with every woman that she’s found out about … she’s orchestrated a terror campaign against every one of these women, including me.”
The media embrace Hillary’s portrayal of these women. Monica Lewinsky is a nut, unless she’s an aggrieved victim of the right-wing conspiracy. Kathleen Willey is merely a frustrated and vindictive woman. Paula Jones is a harridan. All those women are largely portrayed in media as kooks, even though their allegations are significantly more credible than Ivana’s, given that they weren’t involved in divorce cases with Clinton at any point.
And that’s the rule for the media: if the allegations are either about a Republican or by a leftist hero, they become instant front-page fodder. They serve a purpose. Divorce records only become subject to media scrutiny if they help Barack Obama become a senator from Illinois.
Because the media hate Republicans and secretly believe them capable of rape, and simultaneously believe their own heroes incapable of such brutality, they embrace the Trump narrative but reject the Clinton narrative, in the same way they pilloried Justice Clarence Thomas for allegedly making a joke about a pubic hair on a Coke can while laughing off alleged rape against Bill Clinton. The same media who pooh-pooh Broaddrick take false rape allegations by Lena Dunham and undergrads at the University of Virginia absolutely seriously.
There’s a reason for that.
If Trump is a rapist, we can only hope he ends up in prison. In any case, if the press are going to report allegations about Trump, we ought to ask them to report all rape allegations against prominent personages with equal fervor.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.