Donald Trump has denied pretending to be his own publicist after audio emerged of him allegedly discussing his love life and financial success in the third person.
The surreal 14-minute recording, made in 1991, was obtained by the Washington Post and contains a conversation between People magazine reporter Sue Carswell and a man who calls himself “John Miller”.
“Miller”, who sounds like Mr Trump, and has the same conversational style as the real estate mogul, talks about Mr Trump’s failed marriage with Ivana, and boasts that Madonna “wanted to go out with him”.
“Miller” says of Mr Trump: “He gets called by everybody in the book in terms of women.
On dumping model Martha Maples for model Carla Bruni: “He really didn’t want to make a commitment … He’s coming out of a marriage, and he’s starting to do tremendously well financially.”
When questioned about his identity, “Miller” says: “I’m somebody that he (Trump) knows and I think somebody that he trusts and likes … I’m going to do this a little, part-time, and then, yeah, go on with my life.”
“Miller” asks the reporter: “Have you met him?
“He’s a good guy, and he’s not going to hurt anybody.”
The Washington Post reports that Mr Trump was widely known among New York tabloid journalists for using the pseudonyms John Miller or John Barron.
When pressed about whether or not it was him on a Friday morning American news show Mr Trump said: “It was not me on the phone.
“And it doesn’t sound like me on the phone, I will tell you that, and it was not me on the phone.
“And when was this? Twenty-five years ago?”
He called the recording a “scam” and said: “I don’t know anything about it.”
Mr Trump is the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
On Thursday he visited Washington DC to meet Republican leaders in an attempt to unify the party.
Powerful House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said the two men had made progress towards unity, but stopped short of an endorsement.