Donald Trump’s Birthday Message for Melania Backfires

Former President Donald Trump is facing brutal backlash after complaining that his criminal trial is keeping him away from former first lady Melania Trump on her birthday.

Trump appeared in court on Friday to attend the eighth day of his hush-money trial in New York City, where he has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. The 77-year-old former president said Melania, who turned 54 on Friday, remained at home in Florida.

While speaking to reporters, Trump lamented that the “rigged trial” was keeping him away from birthday celebrations with Melania, who has not yet accompanied her husband to court on any day. He said he would be flying back to Florida at the end of the day.

“I want to start by wishing my wife Melania a very Happy Birthday,” Trump said. “It would be nice to be with her, but I’m in a courthouse for a rigged trial… But I do have to begin by wishing Melania Happy Birthday.”

“She’s in Florida,” he continued. “I’ll be going there this evening after this case finishes up—this horrible, unconstitutional case.”

Donald Trump Melania Birthday Backfires Affairs Trial
Former First Lady Melania Trump and former President Donald Trump are pictured together during a fundraiser event in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 6, 2024. After the former president complained that his hush-money criminal trial…

Alon Skuy

Trump’s remarks backfired on social media after several commentators pointed out that the charges against the ex-president are related to a supposed cover-up of 2016 payments to keep adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump.

The affairs allegedly took place, in part, while the then-future first lady was pregnant with the couple’s son, Barron Trump. The former president denies that the affairs took ever place.

“I’m sure Melania appreciates Trump bringing her name into the national coverage today of his porn star and Playboy model sex scandal trial so he can use her birthday to try and garner sympathy from his MAGA cultists,” former federal prosecutor Ron Filipkowski wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “I’m sure she was thrilled.”

“Trump can’t be with Melania on her birthday because he’s on trial for arranging to pay off Playboy model Karen McDougal to keep silent because he had an affair with her during Melania’s entire pregnancy,” Filipkowski added in another post. “That’s why he’s missing her birthday.”

“Nothing say love like Donald Trump wishing Melania a ‘very Happy Birthday’ while at his trial discussing his affairs with a Play Boy Model and a Porn Star while Melania was pregnant,” posted @sensiblemiddle. “Stay classy GOP…”

“Trump is whining because he would prefer to be with Melania on her birthday,” @marlene4719 wrote. “He is literally in court because he chose to bang a porn star rather than be with his wife and their newborn son.”

“Trump wishes his wife Melania a happy birthday, and complains he can’t be with her because he’s in court,” wrote former NBCUniversal executive Mike Sington. “Then he enters the courtroom to hear more lurid details about himself having a relationship with a porn star and Playboy playmate, all while married to Melania.”

“Trump: Happy birthday to Melania, who I’d like to be with, but I’m at this trial because I had sex with a porn star while she was pregnant with our son and I paid $130K to hide it so voters wouldn’t find out,” posted progressive political action committee Really American.

Newsweek reached out for comment to Trump’s office via email on Friday.

Prosecutors from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg have been barred from mentioning during the trial that the alleged affairs purportedly took place during Melania Trump’s pregnancy.

During testimony this week, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, the trial’s first witness, answered “no” after being asked by prosecutors whether Donald Trump ever expressed “concern for how… Melania Trump would think of his affairs.”

Speculation has been rampant during the 2024 election cycle over whether or not Melania’s relationship with the former president may be strained, owing in part to her conspicuous absence from the courtroom and the campaign trail.

After the ex-president complained earlier this month that the trial could keep him from attending Barron’s high school graduation, Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen—who served prison time for facilitating the hush-money payments—claimed that Melania would be “excited” by the possibility.