Breaking His Silence: Trump Takes Stormy Daniels Head On by Forgetting About Her
Trump’s kept relatively quiet about the Stormy Daniels affair allegations, even after her 60 Minutes interviewed aired. But in early April 2018, he just couldn’t hold it in anymore when a reporter asked him about the $130,000 payment Daniels received, allegedly, to keep quiet. Read on for a look at how Trump’s reacted to the allegations so far, what he said to the reporter who asked him about the payment, and what Daniels’ lawyer is “looking forward” to.
1. Up until this point, Trump’s stayed quiet about Stormy Daniels
When the Stormy Daniels story broke, Trump made a point to not comment on the alleged affair. Other than calling Daniels “a hoax” on her media tour, Trump’s decision to keep quiet about the whole thing has been surprising to many.
He did come close to commenting on the incident, with a tweet, after Daniels’ 60 Minutes segment aired.
“So much Fake News,” Trump wrote. “Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!”
Next: The White House stands by Trump.
2. The White House says Trump’s the only one making consistent claims
In late March, White House spokesman Raj Shah made a statement saying the only person who’s been consistent in their claims is Trump. Shah made the statement after the airing of Daniels’ 60 Minutes interview, in which she said she was threatened by an unidentified man in Las Vegas to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump. Shah said Trump doesn’t believe she was actually threatened.
Next: Everyone’s telling Trump to keep quiet.
3. Friends and advisers were telling the President to remain silent
According to The Washington Post, Trump’s friends and advisors have been urging him to speak as little as possible about the matter.
“He’s really not in a punch-back mode,” a friend of the president’s told The Post. “Everyone is telling him, look, you can’t win here, so just do nothing.”
Next: Some find Trump’s lack of comments suspicious.
4. Some say Trump’s keeping quiet is all too telling
While his friends are telling him to keep quiet, there are some people who are critical of the president’s silence. The former White House special counsel who helped Bill Clinton navigate the Lewinsky scandal, Lanny Davis, says Trump’s unique choice to remain silent is telling.
“His absence of comment, to me, was a concession to a not very shocking or newsworthy conclusion, which is that he carried on extramarital affairs. He was silent and wasn’t attacking or criticizing or contradicting her,” Davis told The Post.
Next: He finally spoke up.
5. Trump breaks his silence
Then on April 5, a reporter asked Trump about the $130,000 NDA payment that was made to Daniels. “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen [Trump’s lawyer],” he responded. When asked if he knew where the money came from (Cohen says it came from his own pocket), Trump responded with “No, I don’t know.”
Next: Trump’s lawyer says the payment he made to Daniels was legal.
6. Cohen says the payment he made was lawful
Back in February, Cohen acknowledged that he was the one to pay Daniels, and that Trump wasn’t aware of the payment.
“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” he told The New York Times. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”
Next: What Daniels’ lawyer thinks
7. Daniels’ lawyer is excited to “test the truthfulness” of Trump’s ignorance
After Trump told reporters that he didn’t know about the payment or where the money came from, Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, tweeted: “We very much look forward to testing the truthfulness of Mr. Trump’s feigned lack of knowledge concerning the $130k payment as stated on Air Force One. As history teaches us, it is one thing to deceive the press and quite another to do so under oath.
In March, Avenatti requested that a federal judge compel Trump to testify in court in a deposition regarding the $130,000 payment.
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