In newly released audio recordings aired by 60 Minutes Australia on Sunday, Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt can be heard recounting Melania Trump’s reaction to her husband, Donald Trump, asking her to walk around in a bikini, along with other private comments the two businessmen shared.
Amid the former president’s 2020 presidential campaign, Pratt, the chairman of a multinational paper and packaging company, continued to build his relationship with Trump, which began while he was in office. In a joint investigation between 60 Minutes Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Age, the news segment aired audio recordings of Pratt talking about his experiences and relationship with the former president.
The recordings come after recent reports by ABC News and The New York Times alleged that Trump shared classified information about U.S. submarines that had nuclear capability with Pratt at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
According to the audio recordings, one of the conversations Pratt shared about the former president were details surrounding Trump and the former first lady.
In the recordings, Pratt shares that Trump asked Melania to parade around the pool at Mar-a-Lago in a bikini “so all the other guys could get a look at what they were missing.”
In response, according to Pratt’s audio, “Then Melania said back to him, ‘I’ll do that when you walk around with me in your bikini.'”
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Newsweek has reached out to Trump’s campaign via email for comment.
“It certainly confirms for us and reminds us that Donald Trump is quite happy to demean his own wife in front of other people. Is that the character you really want in your next president,” Peter Hartcher, political and international editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, told 60 Minutes Australia.
Hartcher added that the Pratt tapes could also play a public interest role in the debate over Trump’s candidacy in the 2024 presidential election, which he is the GOP frontrunner in.
“Absolutely it is in the public interest to know what the former U.S. president, potential future U.S president once again, how he conducts himself, his relationships with business people, his relationship with a particular Australian business person,” he said.
More recently, Melania has remained largely out of the public spotlight since leaving the White House in 2021, even as her husband campaigns for next year’s election and while he faces an onslaught of legal challenges, including four indictments that required him to appear in court. Trump, meanwhile, has plead not guilty in all the cases.
The former first lady often appeared beside her husband throughout his 2016 campaign and his presidency, but has not been seen so far on the 2024 campaign trail or at any of her husband’s various arraignments.
However, while walking into the courtroom on Tuesday for his civil fraud trial in New York, the former president was asked by reporters what his wife thought of the $250 million fraud trial against him launched by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“She thinks it’s a total disgrace; she thinks it’s very, very unfair, and all that it is is election interference,” Trump said. “It’s all election interference, and it all starts with the DOJ. It starts with [President Joe] Biden.”
Watch the exclusive below: