Melania’s Flack Mocks CNN for ‘Silly’ Trump Tape Obsession

Stephanie Grisham rebuked the cable news network for wondering if FLOTUS 'heard some recording on the news'

Image Credit: EJ Hersom / DoD

First lady Melania Trump’s spokeswoman said Wednesday that it “seems kind of silly” for CNN to “worry” about what channel Melania Trump watches or thinks about the recording of President Donald Trump and former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

“Did you know that every 15 minutes a baby is born with NAS (Neonatal abstinence syndrome)? Maybe you’d like to talk about the 160,000 kids who skip school every day for fear of being bullied, or that 280,000 students are physically attacked in schools every month,” spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told CNN reporter Kate Bennett on Wednesday.

“Seems kind of silly to worry about what channel she watches on TV (any channel she wants btw) or if she heard some recording on the news,” Grisham added in a statement to Bennett that she tweeted.

Bennett wrote in her tweet: “NEW: I asked @StephGrisham45 whether @FLOTUS had comment on the new Trump/Cohen tape details, and if she indeed was watching @CNN aboard Air Force One, upsetting the president, as @maggieNYT & @katierogers reported last night. Here’s the response I got:”

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The audio tape from September 2016 that CNN aired Tuesday on “Cuomo Prime Time” was three minutes of a conversation between Trump and Cohen concerning whether to buy the rights to Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story of an alleged affair with Trump from a decade ago.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now part of Trump’s legal team, told Fox News the payment was never made.

The New York Times claimed Tuesday that Trump became incensed when he discovered Melania Trump was watching CNN aboard Air Force One while the couple were traveling in Europe last week.

But Grisham urged CNN to focus more on the children’s issues and anti-bullying campaign Melania Trump is championing as part of her “Be Best” platform — than on whether or not she happened to listen to an audio recording CNN aired.

The Be Best campaign includes three key initiatives: children’s well-being, addressing cyberbullying, and supporting families and children affected by opioid abuse. Melania Trump visited the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville on Tuesday as part of her initiative.

“My passion is to shine a light on the opioid crisis,” the first lady told hospital staff. “I want to continue to learn and believe in starting early to educate young mothers and children about the dangers of drugs. I believe the more we talk about this, the shame and guilt will go away.”

Although CNN’s Bennett wrote an article Tuesday about Melania Trump’s Nashville visit, CNN and other mainstream media outlets have come under fire for their negative coverage of the first lady on multiple occasions.

Pundits have mocked Melania Trump — who was born in what is now known as Slovenia and speaks five languages — for her accent and have heavily speculated about her relationship with her husband amid allegations of affairs.

And hours before Melania Trump unveiled her Be Best initiative in May, The Washington Post published an article citing unnamed sources speculating that Melania Trump doesn’t even live in the White House and spends very little time with her husband.

Related: Hell Freezes! Tapper, Trump Agree on Melania ‘Fake News’

But even CNN host Jake Tapper sided with the president in June for berating journalists who were “irresponsibly” theorizing about Melania Trump’s health and whereabouts following her surgery — even though the CNN host’s own network avidly stoked such speculation.

Melania Trump underwent kidney surgery May 14 with no advance public warning. White House officials protected her privacy and released scant information about her recovery during her five-day hospital stay. The first lady maintained a low profile following her return from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and didn’t make an official appearance during a public event until a few weeks later.

It did not take long at the time for media outlets and pundits to speculate over Melania Trump’s whereabouts as conspiracy theories flourished, spurring Trump to take to Twitter in June to defend his wife.

“The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania. During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!” Trump tweeted.

“Four reporters spotted Melania in the White House last week walking merrily along to a meeting. They never reported the sighting because it would hurt the sick narrative that she was living in a different part of the world, was really ill, or whatever. Fake News is really bad!” Trump added.

Tapper sided with Trump on Twitter, writing, “a) He’s not wrong that journalists irresponsibly, and without evidence, publicly speculated about all sorts of hypotheticals. Doing that hurts all journalists. b) Yes of course he does the same thing all the time — smearing and lying. That doesn’t mean we lower our standard.”

Melania Trump addressed the rumors on Twitter on May 30, writing, “I see the media is working overtime speculating where I am & what I’m doing. Rest assured, I’m here at the @WhiteHouse w my family, feeling great, & working hard on behalf of children & the American people!”

Grisham told Fox News in May that “Mrs. Trump has always been a strong and independent woman who puts her family, and certainly her health above all else, and that won’t change over a rabid press corps.”

“She’s confident in what she is doing and in her role, and knows the rest is just speculation and nonsense,” Grisham added.

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