Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote that President-elect Donald Trump once asked, “Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?” — but the quote was quietly removed before the syndicated column was published Tuesday.
Trump was reportedly referring to his daughter, Ivanka, who was 13 years old at the time.
The quote was circulated Monday in a draft of Cohen's piece “Our Next President, The Godfather" that was sent to outlets that syndicate the column, a source told BuzzFeed News. The quote did not appear in the later, final version of the piece carried by the Post and other outlets.
Cohen's column details the president-elect’s increasingly blurred familial and political ties as he prepares to enter the White House.
The reporting appeared in an advance version of the column that was circulated on Monday for publication on Tuesday and thereafter. It appeared as an aside after the introduction of Jared Kushner, which still appears in the final column:
Jared Kushner, our Tom Hagen, who married Trump's stunning daughter Ivanka — "Can I ask you something?" Trump asked someone I know, about his then-13-year-old kid, "Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?" -- has lately lost some of this Boy Scout aura. It turns out Kushner's admission to Harvard was preceded by his father's $2.5 million pledge.
Outlets received another version of the column later in the day, with the text between the "—" removed. None of the sites that syndicate Cohen’s column appear to have published the quote in the draft.
In an email sent to BuzzFeed News shortly after publication, the Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt said, "We (or the Washington Post Writers Group, our affiliated syndicate) edit every column to try to make it as good as it can be.
"We don’t think it would be fair to our writers to discuss the editing process, and don’t see what is to be gained by talking about things that are not published—there are countless drafts that never see the light of day," Hiatt added.
A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to multiple BuzzFeed News requests for comment.