Like Botticelli's Venus gliding in from a Superfund site, the Donald Trump political machine was born from statements of questionable taste. But even now, Trump and his team have the capacity to surprise.
On Sunday night, Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen (whom we know is the president's personal attorney because his Twitter bio says "Personal attorney to president Donald J. Trump") posted a moody black-and-white photo of his 21-year-old daughter Samantha wearing only a black bra and sheer stockings. "So proud of my Ivy League daughter…" he wrote. "Brains and beauty channeling her Edie Sedgwick."
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So proud of my Ivy League daughter...brains and beauty channeling her Edie Sedgwick. On Instagram @samichka_ pic.twitter.com/mpQxhr3mh3— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) May 15, 2017
The tweet raised more eyebrows than a Park Avenue plastic surgeon. Some Twitter users found it inappropriate, others ironic.
@MichaelCohen212 Edie Sedgwick bucked social norms for women in the mid-1960's. If you'd been her dad, you'd have been angry and terrified.— Shannon Coulter (@shannoncoulter) May 15, 2017
@MichaelCohen212 POTUS wants to date his daughter, the VP calls his wife "mother," and DJT's attorney posts spank-bank material of his daughter.— Bonnie Bratnober (@bonibrat) May 15, 2017
@MichaelCohen212 The last time my dad posted a pic of me in lingerie was never.— Mimi ™ (@Mimi_ftw) May 15, 2017
Cohen did not help his case when he answered the controversy with the word "Jealous?"
Samantha Cohen — who explained she posed for the photographs after a "rough semester" and had just received the proofs — told the Daily Mail: "My father, who has always been supportive of my endeavors, was merely expressing his pride. There is nothing inappropriate in the picture and those who seek to make it something it is not are merely Trump haters who are using this as an opportunity to stir up drama."
"I find it hypocritical that those who consider themselves liberal would criticize a woman embracing her body. There is nothing sexualized about the photograph... it is tasteful and it is demure."
Her father was a bit more direct in reply to Twitter user @akaProfessorCha: "Beauty and brains you a-hole! It's a modeling shot remake from an old Edie Sedgwick photo. #hater"
The president has not commented.
The debate continues on Twitter, but no matter where it falls, this has been quite a year for nontraditional family labels in the Trump campaign-turned-administration. A January piece in "Rolling Stone," revealed that vice president Mike Pence calls his wife, Karen, "Mother." Last fall, it came to light that Trump said "If Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her" on "The View" in 2006. And on a 2004 episode of "The Howard Stern Show," when Stern asked if he could call Trump's daughter, Ivanka, "a piece of ass," Trump replied, "Yeah."