A key aide to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump apologized for asserting that a husband cannot be charged with raping his wife.
Michael Cohen, special counsel at the Trump Organization, said he was provoked into misspeaking by an aggressive reporter.
“I made an inarticulate comment - which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely,” Cohen said in a statement to CNN.
Cohen claimed he made the statements about rape during a heated conversation with a reporter from the Daily Beast.
“You cannot rape your spouse,” Cohentold the Daily Beast. “There’s very clear case law.”
Cohen, whom the Forward recently profiled, went on to suggest that Trump was being targeted because he is ahead in the GOP polls.
“You’re talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody,” Cohen, who is Jewish, said. “And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.”
The assault claims stem from the 1993 book Lost Tycoon, which offers graphic details of a supposed assault by Trump on his then-wife Ivana.
Ivana Trump claimed she believed she was raped, and later said she felt “violated.” She told CNN the Daily Beast story had no merit.
Donald Trump breathed new life into the controversy recently when he claimed that Mexican immigrants are “rapists,” one of a string of attention-grabbing comments he has made in recent weeks.