WASHINGTON (AFP) - Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, denied on Friday that he repeatedly posed as his own publicist, after The Washington Post reported that he had done so for decades to push his own agenda.
The newspaper obtained a recording from 1991 that features the voice of someone who identified himself as John Miller and returned a call from a reporter at People magazine who was covering Trump's tumultuous love life.
The Post - citing journalists and several of Trump's top aides - said the voice is actually Trump's and that reporters and editors covering his early career often got calls from his Manhattan office with a "John Miller" or "John Barron" on the line.
But Trump denied the allegations he had masqueraded as himself.
"I don't know anything about it. You're telling me about it for the first time and doesn't sound like my voice at all," the real estate mogul told NBC's Today Show after the broadcaster played a portion of the recording.
"I have many, many people trying to imitate my voice. You can imagine that. This sounds like one of the many scams. Doesn't sound like me."
In the 1991 call to reporter Sue Carswell, John Miller said he was "sort of new here" and added of his ties to Trump: "I'm somebody that he knows and I think somebody that he trusts and likes."
Miller goes on to praise the real estate mogul in his conversation with Carswell, who the Post said was assigned to cover the breakup of Trump's marriage to Ivana and his relationship with the model Marla Maples, as well as other romantic entanglements.
In that vein, he told Carswell why Trump dumped Maples for model Carla Bruni, the Post reported.
"He didn't want to make a commitment," Miller said, at one point asking the reporter if she had met Trump.
"He's a good guy, and he's not going to hurt anybody," added the voice on the recording.
"He treated his wife well and... he will treat Marla well."