It’s now been alleged that nude pictures of Trump’s wife Melania could have been leaked to distract from the father of a fallen Muslim soldier, who made cutting comments about the Republican nominee.
An adviser for the Donald Trump campaign has stated that nude pictures of Melania Trump, published this week in America, are “nothing to be embarrassed about” while a conservative commentator claimed they would help the Republican nominee attract votes.
The New York Post on Monday published a front-page picture of the 46-year-old Slovenian-born Mrs Trump naked with the headline “Menage a Trump”, prompting accusations of misogyny.
On Sunday, the paper ran a front-page picture of a nude Mrs Trump, with stars covering her breasts, under the title “The Ogle Office”.
“These were photos that are 20 years old, before Mrs Trump met Mr Trump,” Jason Miller told CNN. “They’re a celebration of the human body as art.”
Monday’s New York Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, showed a nude Mrs Trump, who will become the next First Lady if Mr Trump wins November’s presidential election, being hugged by another nude woman as she lies in bed.
The controversial, conservative radio host, Rush Limbaugh, suggested that the publication of the pictures may help her husband win over gay and lesbian voters.
“Have you seen The New York Post again with nude photos of Melania Trump?” Limbaugh reportedly asked on air on Monday. “And today these are, what would you call, girl-on-girl I think is the — nude girl-on-girl photos with Melania and other women.”
“I think this probably might wrap up the LGBTQ vote for Trump,” he said. “You never know how these things are seen. You never know.
“And the single, white male vote, particularly the some – or no college educated white male vote. Yeah, I mean, isn’t this kind of stuff that makes people big stars today on Twitter and Facebook, TMZ? I mean, this is just the Kardashians in a sense of the subject type stuff. I mean, it’s relatable.”
Both naked pictures were reportedly taken in 1995 when Mrs Trump was 25 and working as a model, before she met Mr Trump.
The pictures were published the following year in Max, a now-defunct French magazine.
The New York Post was the first national newspaper to endorse Mr Trump for president in April.
“Trump is now an imperfect messenger carrying a vital message. But he reflects the best of ‘New York values’,” stated the newspaper, which, with a circulation of more than half a million, is the fourth biggest in New York.
The editorial noted that Mr Trump was a “potential superstar of vast promise, but making rookie mistakes”.
Khizr Khan accompanied by his wife, parents of Army Captain Humayun Khan, appeared on stage at the Democratic National Convention to back Hillary Clinton and slate Trump, who has made some controversial comments about Muslims during his campaign, such as a database to monitor their movement.
Khan said: ‘Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son the best of America. If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.’
The comments rightly garnered media coverage, including here on Metro.co.uk, though there was quickly another Trump story hogging the headlines.
New York Post, a publication that endorsed Trump earlier in the year, ran a picture exclusive featuring naked pictures of potential next First Lady Melania Trump.
The entirely naked photoshoot was taken back in 1995 by French photographer, Ale de Basseville, soon after Melania moved to the US.
The images were published in January 1996 in Max, a French men’s magazine which has since ceased publication.
Responding to the images, Trump spokesperson Jason Miller said: ‘Melania was one of the most successful models and she did many photo shoots, including for covers and major magazines. This was a picture taken for a European magazine prior to my knowing Melania. In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common.’
Adding: ‘They’re a celebration of the human body as art. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. She’s a beautiful woman.’
Melania Trump posed nude for the images back in 1995 (Picture: Melania Trump/Facebook)
Although usually extremely outspoken, Trump himself didn’t comment on the images. Not a single tweet.
Writing in Gawker, Brendan O’Connor airs some theories about why the 21-year-old photos have resurfaced.
Discussing a few possibilities, he ponders if the photo leak was simply the photographer recirculating the images now that Melania has become a high-profile public figure.
O’Connor also adds that the Trump campaign’s comments on the images could be aimed at socially conservative voters, especially the part which he says the pics were ‘taken for a European magazine prior to my knowing Melania’.
He also speculates on a third possibility. ‘Another interpretation — which probably gives Trump and his staff more credit than they deserve — is that not only were they aware of the photographs and their impending leak, but they encouraged Jarl Alexandre to leak them to the Post (a friendly outlet that would cooperate with the campaign’s tactics)’ in order to distract from the fallout from Khan’s comments.