President Trump should hardly be surprised that the lawyer doing his dirty work was doing a bit of his own by taping his client.
And we should hardly be surprised that, given Trump tried to buy Stormy Daniels’s silence, he was trying to do the same for Karen McDougal with whom, unlike Daniels’s one-night-stand, he allegedly had a longer-term affair.
Below is a good summary of what’s going on from Fox News, including the recording in question. It seems pretty clear to me that Trump was saying he did not want to pay in cash. Lanny Davis, who is out of dishonest-lawyer central – he formerly spun for the Clintons, is trying to say Trump wanted to pay cash and that he was acting like a mobster.
The Trump people note that it wouldn’t make any sense for Trump to try to hide transactions if his attorney was setting up a corporation to make the payment.
All of this is disgusting. None of it is surprising. Conservatives, most of them anyway, have made their peace with who Trump is. The mainstream media, of course, reacts to every new bit of tawdry information about Trump as if to say, What?? Someone is smoking pot in a dorm room?
Mika Brzezinski Thursday claimed Donald Trump is mad that he can’t watch porn in the White House, citing as her source: “Someone.”
Brzezinski spoke during an appearance on MSNBC – looks like not on her own show:
I know someone who spoke to Donald Trump recently about life in the White House. Donald Trump’s biggest complaint was that he’s not allowed to watch porn in the White House . . . There’s a little bit of news for you.
That’s some fine reporting there, I’d say.
What set her off was apparently some derogatory comments by Rudy Giuliani about Stormy Daniels in Israel. He said:
I don’t believe her. Sue me, but her credibility is like that of a lawyer who gets thrown off a case. As a lawyer, I also got cases that weren’t real . . . [Melania] believes her husband and she doesn’t think it’s true. I respect women – beautiful women and women with value – but a woman who sells her body for sexual exploitation I don’t respect. Tell me what damage she suffered. Someone who sells his or her body for money has no good name.
No, I don’t think Rudy Guiliani planned his revelation to Fox News’ Sean Hannity that President Trump reimbursed attorney Michael Cohen for paying off Stormy Daniels. I think Guiliani is a loose canon, always has been, and probably should not be on Trump’s legal defense team.
Notably, Giuliani, when asked, didn’t rule out he’d be fired for what he told Hannity.
The strategy of getting an attorney who can appear on TV to defend Trump is a good. Just, this probably isn’t the guy.
The lying by both Trump and Cohen about this arrangement is deplorable, though perhaps not surprising given that this president, though a good one, lies constantly. Trump said he did not know where Cohen got the money to pay Daniels off. Turns out he knew exactly where the money ultimately came from – him. Cohen said “Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign” reimbursed him, which is perhaps technically was true but certainly misleading.
Trump denies he knew the details, just that he generally paid Cohen to take care of things. That could be true, but I doubt it.
Anyway, the White House legal team was sufficiently concerned about what Giuliani said that it wrote some tweets out for the president to issue this morning. Obviously, anyone who has seen a Trump tweet before can tell these were not written by him.
Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. These agreements are…..
…very common among celebrities and people of wealth. In this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in Arbitration for damages against Ms. Clifford (Daniels). The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair,……
…despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair. Prior to its violation by Ms. Clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction.
I gather the Trump campaign paid off Stormy Daniels because it desperately wanted to avoid another controversy right before the election, something that would have taken the focus off then-FBI Director James Comey’s decision to reopen the investigation of Hillary Clinton.
Though that some prostitute – she’s paid for sex, just does it on camera – accused Trump of a one-night-stand a decade before seems minor compared to allegations of unwanted sexual groping and kissing that had already been lodged. But I suppose it could have changed the votes of a few conservatives, many of whom held their noses to vote for Trump, and blown the election.
No matter, the lies about it after the fact are transparent and need not and should not have been told.
Pornstar Stormy Daniels today released a sketch of the man she claimed threatened to harm her if she didn’t back off claims that she and Donald Trump had had a one-night stand.
The sketch is of a man she supposedly saw seven years ago. She released it on The View.
I suppose if you are frightened in this way, the image might be “indelibly etched” on your mind. But I doubt this is what the man, if he exists, looked like. Memories fade and change. This is a publicity stunt.
Here is Stormy Daniels arriving at a court hearing in New York City concerning the case against President Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. A little dramatic. Her bodyguards must cost a pretty penny, because they’re quite effective.
I don’t know, maybe these photographers thought she was going to take off her clothes.
Anyway, also at today’s hearing, the Judge Kimba Wood revealed, against the wishes of both Cohen and his mystery client, the name of the mystery client: Sean Hannity.
Hannity denied he ever actually hired Cohen, suggesting he was just getting informal advice, but, you know, formal enough for it to be protected by attorney-client privilege.
In response to some wild speculation, let me make clear that I did not ask Michael Cohen to bring this proceeding on my behalf, I have no personal interest in this proceeding, and, in fact, asked that my de minimis discussions with Michael Cohen,
They believe her claim that she and Donald Trump had sex before he ran for president, and that Trump has been unfaithful to his wife. Only a third think the president is honest. More than half think he has low morals.
But a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, conducted after Daniels’ appearance on “60 Minutes” this weekend, suggests that despite that litany of sins, the Daniels revelations are unlikely to significantly alter Trump’s political standing.
The president’s approval rating — 42 percent in this week’s poll — remains largely unchanged from 44 percent last week. Fewer voters support beginning impeachment proceedings against Trump than last year. And voters are split on whether Trump should even answer Daniels’ assertions at all.
Taken together, the data suggest Trump’s past behavior with women is already known among voters — and many are willing to overlook it.
That’s exactly right. It’s the same thing that happened with Bill Clinton. Republicans assumed they had a political coup with the Monica Lewinsky case, which they assumed would finally disgust Americans and turn voters against him. Instead, as the impeachment proceedings loomed in November 1998, Democrats picked up five seats in the House.
Voters have either made their peace with Donald Trump or not, and they don’t need new information to understand who he is, even if Washington journalists fall into a frenzy over every salacious detail that emerges about his past.
Maybe I should ask Stormy Daniels for some business advice. Because she sure knows how to make a buck.
Maybe Trump should ask her for some business advice.
This woman has somehow parlayed one bout of consensual sex with Donald Trump 12 years ago into a gold mine, an appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes” with Anderson Cooper – wait, doesn’t he work for CNN? – and a national obsession.
Not only did she take $130,000 from Trump’s lawyer just before Election Day 2016 not to talk about the “affair” – which was actually a one-night-stand, not an affair – but she went ahead and talked about it anyway and now is reaping new profits for herself by increasing her marketability for whatever she does – I think she’s now a stripper.
Now, uh, I don’t like presidents cheating on their wives with porn stars and then paying them off. Trump has already disgusted me in many ways, though I’ve made my peace with it, as have many conservatives, not least because Hillary and Bill were the alternative. But this case reflects at least as badly on everyone else.
First of all, everyone is believing her, despite that she’s basically a prostitute. I mean, if the definition is having sex for money, then in a sense, starring in porn movies is prostitution. Although this does not affect her credibility in today’s society, apparently.
“Cooper and his producers never used the facts of Clifford’s job to suggest anything else about her,” writes Alyssa Rosenberg in the Washington Post “Plenty of people will be willing to weaponize Clifford’s profession without regard for her as a person if it lets them damage Trump. Fortunately, Cooper wasn’t one of them.”
Weaponize her profession? Pornstars are as credible as nurses?
And being a pornstar is a “profession.” Hmm, sounds more like a trade or a craft to me.
But Stormy also said, and nobody seems to care, that she viewed sleeping with Trump as a “business deal,” since she was hoping to get on The Apprentice.
What do you call that?
Trump denies he slept with her. Who knows? The payment just before Election Day would make sense even if he didn’t sleep with her, because true or not, it’s just the type of thing that could have kept enough conservatives from the polls to elect Hillary Clinton. And the charge that she was threatened years ago is completely unverified and sounds like it’s out of a movie. I’d hate for something bad to happen to you . . .
Her former attorney told the Washington Post that “he does not believe that her assertions on 60 Minutes ‘represent a fair and accurate description of the situation.'” Nobody wants to hear that either.
Here’s some of what passed for journalism last night. Look at how Cooper stops at nothing to get the story!
Anderson Cooper: You– you told Donald Trump to turn around and take off his pants.
Stormy Daniels: Yes.
Anderson Cooper: And did he?
Stormy Daniels: Yes. So he turned around and pulled his pants down a little — you know had underwear on and stuff and I just gave him a couple swats.
This is all just so sad for us and what we’ve become. But it’s good for Stormy’s business.