In March 1990 the former wife of Donald Trump’s Secretary of Labor nominee, Andrew Puzder, gave an interview in disguise on the Oprah Winfrey Show for an episode titled, “High-Class Battered Women.”
The video is owned by the Oprah Winfrey Network, who provided the video for viewing by senators who will be responsible for rejecting or approving Puzder’s nomination.
“I’ve arranged for senators on the committee to see that … I thought that was a reasonable request. No reason not to see it,” said Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). “That happened 27 years ago. His former wife has said it was all not true. She has reiterated that in a heartfelt letter to members of the committee and has been willing to talk to members of the committee so I don’t think that’s an issue. “
Puzder’s ex, Lisa Fierstein, who gave the cloaked interview nearly three decades ago, wrote a letter to the Senate in light of Puzder’s nomination. In the letter she says that the interview was not factual and has since retracted the abuse allegations.
Fierstein’s accusations first surfaced in local news reports around the time of her divorce from Puzder. She has since suggested she made them up to bolster her divorce settlement. Puzder has always denied that he abused her.
Several senators have viewed the video while others have not. The video is not available for public viewing and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said that while she inquired about making the video public, not even her staff has been allowed to view it.
It hardly seems necessary to seek to have the video made public except to embark on a public smear campaign over events that likely the individuals involved are not proud of. The video is owned by a private entity and no one is entitled to see it outside of those who will be deciding whether or not Puzder should be the Labor secretary.