Reporter From 1991 Audio Recording Says Trump's Denials Raise Questions About Character

Sue Carswell said she knew immediately in 1991 "John Miller" was Donald Trump

ByABC News
May 14, 2016, 6:23 PM

— -- The former People Magazine reporter who interviewed Donald Trump's alleged spokesman "John Miller" in 1991 -- and immediately felt it was actually Trump himself -- says his denials that he masqueraded as his own spokesman raise questions about his character.

"It shows he's a liar right now. And that distresses me as the candidate running for the Republican party," Sue Carswell said in an interview with ABC News' Mary Bruce. "If this is the kind of character that -- of a man that you're going to be voting for come November, I would be suspicious if he tells lies.

"I mean, he's punking me," Carswell said. "He's punking the country."

In 1991, Carswell spoke with a Trump spokesman named "John Miller" while reporting on Trump's divorce from Ivana Trump and his relationship with Marla Maples. She says she knew immediately that Miller was actually Trump, and reached out to three people, including Maples, to confirm her suspicions. Trump ultimately apologized to her, she said.

"He apologized and said, I'm sorry...which isn’t really a world you hear from Donald a lot," Carswell said. In a follow-up article, Trump characterized the incident as a joke gone awry.

"What I did became a good time at Marla's expense, and I'm very sorry," he was quoted as saying.

However, when Trump was asked about the audio Friday on the "Today Show," he unequivocally denied it was his own voice, claiming it was a "scam," someone trying to impersonate him.

Carswell reiterated that she believes Trump leaked the audio of the 1991 interview to the Washington Post. She said she lost her tape, and never gave a copy to anyone, and she assumes the only other person who has a copy is Trump.

"It's just strange that it broke on Friday, the week that he had trouble with...the summit with Paul, [Ryan] the questions into his taxes. The butler saying outrageous things. And it seems to me that this was some sort of distraction," Carswell said.

ABC News' Candace Smith contributed reporting.