The Trump Files: Listen to Donald Brag About His Affairs—While Pretending to Be Someone Else

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This post was originally published as part of “The Trump Files“—a collection of telling episodes, strange but true stories, and curious scenes from the life of our current president—on September 29, 2020.

Donald Trump may have had second thoughts about discussing Bill Clinton’s affairs at the first presidential debate of 2016, but he’s been far less hesitant to talk about his own affairs in the past. Just take the strange 1991 incident where “John Miller,” one of the fake-spokesman personas Trump invented to speak anonymously to the media, bragged to People‘s Sue Carswell about Trump’s sleeping around.

Carswell called up Trump’s office to talk about allegations that Trump had taken up with model Carla Bruni and dumped Marla Maples, the woman with whom Trump cheated on his first wife, Ivana. “He’s living with Marla and he’s got three other girlfriends,” the “sort of new” PR man told Carswell when he called her back. “[Marla] wants to get back, she’s told it to a lot of her friends and she’s told it to him, but it’s so highly unlikely.”

Carswell asked about some specific celebrities who were linked to Trump, including Bruni and even Madonna. “Miller” assured her Trump’s phone was ringing off the hook with A-listers. “I think that he’s got a whole open field, really,” he said. “I mean, they call. They just call. Actresses, people that you write about just call to see if they can go out with him and things.”

According to Trump Revealed, the book by Washington Post reporters Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher, Carswell then “called Marla and played the tape. Maples burst into tears and confirmed the voice was Trump’s.”

Trump denied earlier this year that he was the one who spoke to Carswell, but thankfully we don’t have to take his word for it. The Washington Post got audio of the call earlier this year, so you can listen to “Miller”‘s decidedly Trumpy voice and make up your own mind.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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