Donald Trump boasted about his wife, First Lady Melania Trump amid rumors of a rift in their marriage following allegations he had an affair with a porn star.
On Wednesday, the president, 71, welcomed Columbus, Georgia, insurance company Aflac to the Oval Office to promote the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act he signed into law in December.
During the gathering, Trump met with Aflac employee Michael Porter, a resource manager who works with the general counsel’s office, who presented the commander-in-chief with a pair of socks that was emblazoned with the company’s duck mascot.
In turn, Trump thanked Porter by reminding him of his wife starring in a 2005 Aflac commercial in which she switched voices with the duck (voiced by comedian Gilbert Gottfried).
“Your chairman I know very well and he’s done a fantastic job,” Trump responded, referring to Aflac Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.
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“He actually a long time ago hired my wife to do a big commercial, an Aflac commercial, and I think it was a successful commercial, too. So say hello to him,” he continued.
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In the 30-second, black-and-white ad, titled “Experiment,” Melania is bound to a laboratory table next to the Aflac duck that is strapped to another. The mad scientist explains to his assistant that the goal is to interchange the pair’s voices “to tell the world the benefits of Aflac with sex appeal.”
At the end of the footage, she awakens and quacks, “Aflac,” in Gottfried’s voice.
Melania booked the commercial in the same year she and her husband were newlyweds, nearly one year before his alleged sexual encounter with Stormy Daniels.
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At the time, Adweek reported that the former model released the statement: “I am very excited to make my acting debut in the latest Aflac commercial. Donald is known for saying ‘You’re fired’; maybe I will be known for saying ‘Aflac.’ ”
The newly unearthed commercial comes one day after Mrs. Trump was present at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday in a show of support for her husband during his first State of the Union address, for which she broke tradition by arriving separately from the president and opting to ride with her guests invited to the first lady’s box instead.
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The SOTU appearance comes after the first lady abruptly canceled a planned trip to Davos, Switzerland, with President Trump last week amid allegations that he had an affair with porn star Daniels. The change of plans stirred further speculation about a possible rift between the first couple, especially after it was reported that the first lady traveled to West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday instead of Davos.
The New York Times reported Mrs. Trump was “furious” over reports that her husband’s lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a $130,000 payment to Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election to bar her from talking about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump.
The White House and Cohen have denied the president had an affair with Daniels, but declined to answer questions from the Wall Street Journal about an agreement with her, according to the newspaper.