According to The Wall Street Journal, a lawyer for Trump orchestrated a $130,000 payment to a porn star in October of 2016 to hush her up about claims of a sexual encounter with Trump.
The payment came just before the presidential election and as the actress, Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, was discussing telling ABC’s Good Morning America and Slate, according to interviews, notes and text messages reviewed by The New York Times.
Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of Slate, said that in a series of interviews with Ms. Clifford in August and October 2016, she told him she had an affair with Trump after meeting him at a 2006 celebrity golf tournament. She told him that Michael D. Cohen, a lawyer for Trump, had agreed during the presidential campaign to pay her the $130,000 if she kept the relationship a secret. Clifford had told him she was tempted to go public because the lawyer was late in making the payment and she feared he might back out of their agreement.
In a text message exchange that Weisberg provided to the Times, he pressed her on details of the agreement.
“Was the Trump lawyer Michael Cohen?” he asked.
“Yep!” responded Ms. Clifford.
In an email sent to The Times, Mr. Cohen did not address the $130,000 payment, but said,
“These rumors have circulated time and again since 2011. President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.”
Clifford could not be reached for comment. But Cohen released a statement dated Jan. 10 and signed by Ms. Clifford in which she said that her involvement with Trump was limited to a few public appearances, and that allegations that,
“I had a sexual and/or romantic affair with Mr. Trump many, many, many years ago” were “completely false.”
Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false.”
The White House issued a statement, saying,
“These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election.”
Around the same time that Clifford was talking to Slate, a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, sold exclusive rights to her story about an affair she claimed to have had with Trump to American Media Inc., the company that owns The National Enquirer.
American Media, whose chief executive, David J. Pecker, is close with Trump, never published her story and denied it had paid to lock down a story that would have been damaging to Trump. Trump’s spokesperson, Hope Hicks, denied that Trump had an affair or that he or his campaign had any knowledge of the talks with American Media.
This one story would have brought down any other presidency. Can you IMAGINE if this was Bush or Obama!? But with this literal shit show, it’s kind of third tier news on a Friday night. No biggie.
(via NY Times)