A source tells PEOPLE that President Donald Trump didn’t really have wife Melania‘s best interests at heart when he tried persuade then-FBI director James Comey to investigate the alleged existence of the infamous “pee tape,” which purportedly shows Trump watching Russian prostitutes urinate on a Moscow hotel bed in 2013.
“President Trump was worried about his own reputation because he feels he can always deny, deny, deny to Melania and she will go away on the subject,” says the Palm Beach source close to the Trumps.
“Obviously, with something like this on tape, it would be harder to deny and make his life a little more difficult.”
The White House did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In his upcoming book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, out Tuesday, Comey claims that Trump “brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing’ “ to him multiple times, including during a private dinner with Trump at the White House on Jan. 27, 2017. “It bothered him if there was ‘even a one-percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true,” Comey writes.
The former FBI director said in his book that Trump wanted him to prove the allegations were untrue so that the president could reassure his wife, who he said was upset by the claims.
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Trump was president-elect when Comey first gave him a heads up about a widely circulated British intelligence dossier containing unconfirmed allegations that in 2013, Russians filmed Trump with prostitutes he had instructed to urinate on the same bed at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton where President Obama once slept. Trump denied the allegations in his conversations with Comey, the former FBI director writes.
According to the New York Post, Comey writes that he wondered why Melania might think there was even a 1-percent chance the allegations were true, claiming there is “zero chance” his own wife would believe such a claim.
“In what kind of marriage, to what kind of man, does a spouse conclude there is only a 99 percent chance her husband didn’t do that?” Comey writes.