What did Donald Trump do this time to earn coverage on this blog?
After Khizr Khan, accompanied by his wife Ghazala, gave a well-received speech condemning Trump at the Democratic National Convention, Trump responded on ABC News. Seemingly grasping at straws for something about Khan to attack, Trump baselessly speculated that only Mr. Khan spoke because his wife was not allowed to speak, presumably for some reason related to Islam:
If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say. Probably maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say, you tell me, but plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet and it looked like she had nothing to say.
Mrs. Khan did in fact speak on MSNBC, where she said she did not speak at the convention because talking about her deceased son causes her to break down emotionally.
But on top of that, when talking about the inability of wives to talk, Trump should consider the fact that his own ex-wives are forbidden to speak about him.
When Trump initially divorced his first wife, Ivana, one term of the 1991 divorce agreement was
Without obtaining Donald’s written consent in advance, Ivana shall not directly or indirectly publish, or cause to be published, any diary, memoir, letter, story, photograph, interview, article, essay, account or description or depiction of any kind whatsoever, whether fictionalized or not, concerning her marriage to Donald or any other aspect of Donald’s personal, business or financial affairs…
And Trump took this clause seriously. When Ivana soon after agreed to an interview with Barbara Walters, he sent a letter to Walters demanding the interview be canceled. After the interview aired, Trump withheld his alimony payments to Ivana and announced plans to sue for damages.
A few days later, the clause was struck from the agreement in a closed court session, although Trump’s attorney insisted that Ivana was still bound to it.
And indeed, later that year a higher court upheld it.
The gag order dispute reared its ugly head again a year later, when Trump filed a $25 million lawsuit against Ivana for publishing the novel For Love Alone, which is often presumed to be a tell-all novel on Donald thinly veiled as fiction. Ivana filed her own suit against him and the two settled out of court.
(Nevertheless, Trump seemingly softened on For Love Alone, as he reportedly raised no objections to a 1996 made-for-television film adaptation.)
Not surprisingly, history had a way of repeating itself when it came to Trump divorces.
After divorcing Marla Maples, Trump again withheld alimony on suspicion that she might violate her confidentiality agreement. Ironically, in 1999 Maples commented on the possibility of a Trump presidential campaign, telling the London Telegraph that “I will feel it is my duty as an American citizen to tell the people what he is really like.”
In response, Trump’s attorney Jay Goldberg announced that the real estate mogul would not pay Maples the $1.5 million in alimony owed to her, and instead put it in an escrow account. Trump soon after payed Maples the remaining alimony when she received a court order.
Goldberg said the purpose of the brief withholding was “to send a message that she was playing close to the fire. That should slow her down.” Perhaps it did, considering Maples has made no salacious revelations in this campaign cycle.
Does Trump believe his ex-wives are forbidden to talk about him for the “right” reasons? And that there is some sort of “wrong” reason why Ghazala Khan did not speak at the convention alongside her spouse?
Hypothetically, Trump may want to think more before making these types of attacks, although he has gotten so far without doing so that a change is unlikely.