Nikki Haley slams rumours she had an affair with President Donald Trump as first lady’s spokesman insists marriage remains intact
The speculation coincided with reports Trump’s lawyer paid porn star Stormy Daniels US$130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with the president
The US ambassador to the United Nations has lashed out at rumours she had an affair with President Donald Trump, calling the gossip “highly offensive” and “disgusting”.
Nikki Haley told Politico’s Women Rule podcast on Friday that salacious suggestions made by author Michael Wolff, who penned the explosive White House insider tome Fire and Fury, were “absolutely not true”.
The 46-year-old married mother of two said she has faced similar insinuations in the past and dismissed it as resentment borne from jealousy.
“Do I like it? No. Is it right? No. Is it going to slow me down? Not at all,” Haley said. “Any time this has happened, it only makes me fight harder, it only makes me work harder. And I do it for the sake of other women that are behind me.”
Haley, a rising star in the Republican Party, was the first female governor of South Carolina. She joined the Trump administration despite initially criticising the president’s candidacy.
Wolff planted the seed of an affair between Haley and the president during an interview with Bill Maher last week.
He claimed on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher that Trump was having an affair but he didn’t have the “ultimate proof” to include the incendiary claim in the book. He did not name Haley but readers flagged a passage about the pair spending time together on Air Force One as evidence of an extramarital affair and rumours took off online.
Haley balked at the insinuations.
“I have literally been on Air Force One once and there were several people in the room when I was there,” Haley said, referring to a flight from Washington to Long Island, New York, in late July. “He says that I’ve been talking a lot with the president in the Oval about my political future. I’ve never talked once to the president about my future and I am never alone with him.”
The speculation coincided with reports Trump’s lawyer paid porn star Stormy Daniels US$130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
A spokeswoman for Melania Trump, the first lady, on Friday refuted speculation the couple’s marriage is crumbling, blasting reports about the president’s alleged infidelity as “fake news”.
“The laundry list of salacious & flat-out false reporting about Mrs Trump by tabloid publications & TV shows has seeped into ‘main stream media’ reporting,” Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s communications director, tweeted Friday. “She is focused on her family & role as FLOTUS – not the unrealistic scenarios being peddled daily by the fake news.”
Grisham did not respond to a request for clarification about which reports in particular that the White House considers “flat-out false,” but her tweet comes amid a torrent of articles detailing Trump allegedly having an extramarital affair with Daniels.
Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has refused to confirm or deny if she ever had sex with Trump. According to reports, the Trump-Clifford affair would have started just three months after Melania Trump gave birth to their son, Barron.
Michael Cohen, who allegedly facilitated the hush payment, has circulated a letter of denial supposedly signed by Clifford.
Melania Trump, meanwhile, has tried to stay out of the spotlight and hasn’t made a public statement since The Wall Street Journal first broke the Trump-Clifford story.