President Donald Trump has a crush on a New York Republican – and it’s not the first time.
Judging by the shoutout Trump gave Rep. Elise Stefanik during his acquittal speech on Thursday, he’s fairly infatuated with the rock-ribbed North Country lawmaker. “It’s most incredible what’s going on with you, Elise,” Trump said in the White House East Room. “I was up campaigning for helping her and I thought, ‘She looks good, she looks like good talent.’”
“But I did not realize when she opens that mouth, you were killing them, Elise, you were killing them,” he continued. Trump may have misremembered, however: He did not campaign for Stefanik, but he did campaign for former Rep. Claudia Tenney, whom it appears he may have confused with Stefanik. Or Trump could have been referring to a visit to Stefanik’s district, where he signed a $717 billion defense policy bill at Fort Drum, which would attach a political purpose to an official presidential visit.
Trump asked Stefanik to be one of his advocates during the U.S. Senate impeachment trial, following her aggressive performance during the House impeachment hearing, which made her one of the GOP’s most popular political figures.
But before there was Stefanik, there was Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.
During a meeting at Trump Tower on Dec. 4, 2013, several conservative Republicans attempted to convince Trump to run for president, insisting that the state GOP needed him, according to Allen Salkin and Aaron Short’s book “The Method to the Madness.” Among those present at the gathering was Malliotakis.
“He was sitting to my left. Nicole Malliotakis was sitting to my right, and Trump fell, not sexually or anything, but intellectually and personality-wise in love with Nicole,” Staten Island radio host Frank Morano said in the book. “It got to the point where even though I was sitting next to Trump, he didn’t even see me. He only saw me as a barrier to what Nicole was saying.”
Morano also mentioned in the book that Malliotakis expressed romantic interest in Trump’s son Eric, which made Trump fall even harder for her. “If you thought he loved Nicole before, he’s ready to put her on Mount Olympus after she flirts through him with Eric Trump,” Morano said.
Sadly for Trump, Malliotakis remarked in 2017, when she was running for mayor of New York City, that she regretted voting for the president, and that she wished U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio had been the 2016 Republican presidential nominee instead.
It appears she and Trump have rekindled their relationship. Malliotakis told the Staten Island Advance on Jan. 29 that Trump “told me I have his full support” for her congressional campaign against Democratic Rep. Max Rose.
And then there’s the president’s notorious fondness of another woman from New York: Ivanka Trump, better known as his daughter.
In 2006, Trump famously said during an appearance on "The View" that “if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her.” In 2004, he told shock jock Howard Stern during an appearance on his radio show that Stern could call his daughter "a piece of ass.” And while she was hosting the 1997 Miss Teen USA contest – at 16 years old – the elder Trump asked the reigning Miss Universe, “Don’t you think my daughter’s hot? She’s hot, right?” Typical father-daughter stuff.
While Stefanik is currently the president’s number one Republican in the state, it may be only a matter of time before another captivating female member of the state’s GOP grabs his attention.
Correction: An earlier version of this post had the incorrect party affiliation for radio host Frank Morano.
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