08/02/2016 12:45 EDT

Melania Trump Nude Photos Prompt Speculation They Were Leaked By Her Husband

"She's a beautiful woman," said the Donald's senior communications adviser.

You'd expect a potential U.S. president to be upset when nude photos of his wife show up on the front page of a newspaper, but Donald Trump was nonplussed.

"Melania was one of the most successful models and she did many photo shoots, including for covers and major magazines," Trump told the New York Post after it published photos of his wife Melania over the weekend.

"In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common,” said the Republican presidential candidate.

The photos, which originally appeared in a French men's magazine called Max in 1996, show the former Slovenian model looking at the camera while posing nude in heels.

Another picture shows her laying naked in a bed as another model caresses her from behind.

No possible future first lady has ever appeared nude on the front of a major newspaper with the headline "The Ogle Office."

Photographer Alé de Basse­ville told the Post that Melania was great to work with and seemed comfortable with the shoot.

But Trump's senior communications adviser also shrugged off the photos, telling CNN they are "a celebration of the human body as art."

"There's nothing to be embarrassed about," Jason Miller told the broadcaster. "She's a beautiful woman."

Gossip website Gawker even speculated that Trump himself had encouraged the photographer to leak the photos to distract from his comments to the family of a Muslim American war hero, remarks that have not gone over well with some Republican lawmakers and U.S. military veterans.

But the site also acknowledged that De Basse­ville may have just wanted publicity.

Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo: Brooks Kraft/Getty Images)

The Post cover follows GQ's republish of a racy 2000 photo shoot featuring Melania posing barely clothed in her husband's custom-fitted 727 jet.

But Trump's wife also made headlines recently for a different reason. A speechwriter resigned after Melania was criticized for plagiarizing parts of her speech at last month's Republican National Convention.

In a statement, Trump Organization staff writer Meredith McIver admitted she left portions of Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech in the final version Melania read for broadcast.

And the negative headlines following Melania's speech may have had an effect on her husband's campaign.

One Gallup poll found Trump's numbers fell after the convention, with 51 per cent of adults surveyed saying they were less likely to vote for him after the event ended.

But was Trump actually involved in releasing the nude photos? You can see more analysis in the video above.

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