Photographs of Trump talking with a pair of attractive women at a 2002 Florida golf course, which have resurfaced in the past week and seemingly sparked a campaign against the president by liberal forces, would not have been allowed in 2002, said the reporter who photographed them.
“We would not have allowed it. I just don’t think that was true back then. That photograph would not be accepted,” Richard Burkhauser, who runs a restaurant in Jupiter, Florida, told the Washington Post on Sunday.
The scandalous photo, taken 10 years before Trump appeared in a presidential debate for the first time, has been at the center of a stir on social media. A series of disparaging posts, many of which were circulated on Twitter and Facebook, accuse the president of trying to sexually assault the women in the photo.
“People want to believe the worst about Trump,” Burkhauser, told the Post. “But he seems to be so confident and professional. He looked like the kind of guy who would lead the American people. And if someone was going to screw with his career, they would do it in the shortest time possible.”
When Burkhauser was working for the Tampa Tribune in 2002, he was asked to shoot Trump at the private golf course. He described Trump as “confident, very charming, really good at putting, very photogenic. He was the big star of the day.”
Last week, Burkhauser told the Washington Post he had passed the photograph along to a friend who then sold it to Entertainment Tonight. Burkhauser said he intended the purchase to be strictly private. He confirmed the picture was taken during an interview with the Palm Beach Post for a story that ran on Thursday.
According to the Post, Burkhauser received a call from an ET producer three years later requesting a run of an article based around the photograph. He declined to publish it at the time. “I refused to run it in 2003,” he said. “I just thought it was not right.”
Read the full story at The Washington Post.
Melania Trump, First Lady, fends off bullying after suspiciously vanishing from social media
Hacked Macron emails show wife not as hands-on as the public believes
U.S. envoy to UN rebukes new president on climate change