Melania denies writing scathing op-ed
MELANIA Trump has denied she was the person behind an opinion piece in The New York Times in which a "senior official" said they were fighting Trump presidency from within.
Mrs Trump had some harsh words of her own for the person who declared in the piece that they are part of the Trump "resistance".
"Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation's founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy. The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible," the first lady said in a statement.
"Unidentified sources have become the majority of the voices people hear about in today's news. People with no names are writing our nation's history. Words are important, and accusations can lead to severe consequences. If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves."
"To the writer of the oped - you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions," she said.
Mrs Trump joins other senior officials who have publicly denied writing the op-ed including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnunchin, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
MELANIA'S WORDS AFTER 'P***Y-TAPE INCIDENT
It came as a new leak from journalist Bob Woodward's book revealed that Mrs Trump refused to appear alongside her husband on TV as part of his damage-control efforts after he was heard uttering crude comments about women in the infamous "p***y" tape.
"'Not doing that,' Mrs Trump said, dismissively waving her hand," Woodward wrote in Fear, according to an excerpt published by The Guardian.
"'No way. No, no, no,'" she added during Mr Trump's campaign.
In the 2005 recording, which was released in October 2016, the future US president said he might start kissing a woman he was about to meet - adding that as a "star", he could grab women "by the p***y."
Mr Trump later apologised and dismissed his comments as "locker room talk", though he later also questioned the tape's authenticity, reports the New York Post.
In a statement at the time, Mrs Trump denounced her husband's words as "unacceptable and offensive to me".
She added that his remarks did not "represent the man that I know", adding that "he has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world".
The US President has lashed out at the famed investigative reporter's book, labelling it a work of "fiction".
"The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General [Secretary of Defence] James Mattis and General [chief of staff] John Kelly," he tweeted on Tuesday.
"Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?"
Mr Trump is currently in the midst of another storm after The New York Times published an explosive opinion piece by an anonymous Trump staffer who called into question the US President's morality and competency.
Late night hosts have had a field day with the Woodward book.
Jimmy Fallon skewered the president on The Tonight Show with his impression of Mr Trump talking about the allegations.