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

Mother Jones illustration; Shutterstock

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

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.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate