Speaking at a private Republican party meeting this week, Donald Trump made unprompted references to years-old allegations that he hired prostitutes in Moscow, reportedly telling the audience he is “not into golden showers”.
The former president spoke at a retreat for GOP operatives and senators in Palm Beach, Florida organised by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
In the event’s final and keynote speech, Mr Trump also spoke about his good relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and lavished praise on the intelligence of China’s Xi Jinping, according to The Washington Post, which cited recordings obtained from the meeting.
Mr Trump hit out at political opponents from his time in the White House including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who he referred to as “maniacs”, and described his presidency as a fight for survival.
On his impeachment trial and pushes by Democrats for investigations into his ties to Russia, he said: “It was all phony s***, okay. All phony stuff.”
“I’m not into golden showers,” Mr Trump said addressing the VIP crowd of donors, lobbyists and senators. He then referred to former first lady Melania Trump, saying: “You know the great thing, our great first lady – ‘That one,’ she said, ‘I don’t believe that one.’ ”
The comments are a reference to an unsubstantiated claim that Mr Trump watched Russian prostitutes urinate in a hotel room on a trip to Moscow in 2013. The detail was included in the Steele dossier – a collection of memos by former British spy Christopher Steele, detailing Mr Trump’s alleged ties to Russia and a conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election. An investigation based in part on the dossier did not find sufficient evidence to prove that Mr Trump’s campaign had any links with Russia.
Mr Trump also criticised Utah senator Mitt Romney and Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, among the GOP senators who voted to impeach him after the Capitol Hill riot, while calling on members of the Republican Party to stick together.
He said this was necessary because “Democrats stick together”, and repeated his unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential elections were rigged.
He also took credit for reviving a “dying” Republican party and helping Republicans in holding seats on Capitol Hill.
“It was a dying party, I’ll be honest. Now we have a very lively party,” he said.
The Republicans lost control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate during Mr Trump’s presidency.
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