Melania Trump Refused to Appear Alongside Donald After 'Access Hollywood' Tape: 'No, No No,' Woodward Book Claims

Melania Trump refused to appear on television alongside her husband, Donald Trump, in the wake of the release of an infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women, according to Bob Woodward's upcoming book on the Trump White House. The tape was released in October 2016, just weeks before the presidential election and the future first lady was said by Woodward's account to have been asked to be at her husband's side as his campaign looked to repair the damage from the 2005 recording.

"'Not doing that,' Melania said in her Slovenian accent, dismissively waving her hand," Woodward wrote, according to an excerpt published by The Guardian Wednesday. "'No way. No, no, no.'"

The tape, in which Donald Trump said he might just "start kissing" a woman he was about to meet and added that, as a "star," he could just grab women by the genitals without their permission, was recorded just months after he married the current first lady.

Following the recording's release, Melania Trump criticized her husband's comments but said she was standing by him and urged voters to do the same.

"The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me," she said. "This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world."

Donald Trump, Melania, Access Hollywood tape
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to welcome Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his wife, Margaret Kenyatta, at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. August 27, 2018. The first lady is said to have refused to appear alongside the president following the release of an infamous tape during the 2016 campaign. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Melania Trump's apparent reaction to the Access Hollywood tape is not the only time the first lady features in Woodward's book, Fear, which is set for release Tuesday. In an excerpt published by The New York Times, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon reportedly said of the first lady that "behind the scenes, she's a hammer."

Elsewhere the book paints a picture of Trump's White House in turmoil with staff desperately trying to rein in the more extreme whims of the president. Multiple officials are quoted questioning the president's fitness for office.

Donald Trump has lashed out at the book and its author, a veteran journalist who helped uncover the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon, since the release of its first excerpts.

"The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly," he tweeted Tuesday. "Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?"

The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly. Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2018

The president had a new target for his ire Wednesday night following the publishing of an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times from a "senior official in the Trump administration.

"Does the so-called "Senior Administration Official" really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?" Trump tweeted. "If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"

This story has been updated with further comments from President Donald Trump.