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Donald Trump has not had a good week. He hasn’t since 2016, honestly, but this week has been particularly bad.
After it came out that Trump called countries with non-white majorities “sh-tholes” and that he thought that diplomats should be given tasks according to their ethnicity, another bombshell dropped.
It is alleged that Trump paid a six-figure settlement to a porn star to buy her silence about a sexual encounter that took place after he married Melania.
On Friday, a damning report by the Wall Street Journal alleges that Donald Trump arranged for porn star Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, to receive $ 130,000 in hush money.
Oh, just one month before the 2016 election.
The two of them, per the report, had an alleged sexual encounter in 2006.
Clifford was 27 at the time of the consensual encounter at Lake Tahoe.
In case you need a refresher, Trump and Melania married in January of 2006. So this wouldn’t have just been a hook-up with an adult film star, but cheating on Melania shortly after they married.
Michael Cohen, who was an attorney for the Trump Organization at the time, is the one who made the alleged arrangements for a payment.
The $ 130,000 payment was apparently part of a non-disclosure agreement that the adult film star signed.
The White House declined to comment on the alleged six-figure payment, but called the report that Trump had bedded Clifford “old” and “recycled,” mentioning that the reports had been “strongly denied” even before the election.
(Which is interesting, because mentioning that something was publicly denied is not the same thing as denying it yourself)
Cohen, the attorney who is said to have set up the payment, said that Trump “once again vehemently denies” the story that he had any sort of sexual relationship with Stormy Daniels.
Interestingly, like the White House, Cohen also declined to comment on the $ 130,000 payment.
But that’s not to say that Cohen didn’t have anything to say to the Wall Street Journal:
“This is now the second time that you are raising outlandish allegations against my client.”
Is it really outlandish? Even if this isn’t true, it doesn’t sound outlandish in the slightest.
“You have attempted to perpetuate this false narrative for over a year; a narrative that has been consistently denied by all parties since at least 2011.”
He’s right about one thing:
Stephanie Clifford has denied it. She’s denied the sexual tryst and she’s denied the substantial sum of hush money.
Of course, her denial includes the claim that he was a “total gentleman” to her when they met, which just about defies belief.
Clifford does acknowledge that she made some professional appearances for the Trump brand.
For example, she attended the launch of Trump Vodka in 2007, the year after the alleged sexual encounter.
Trump Vodka has, of course, failed like so many of Trump’s business ventures. Production of that shut down in 2011.
But Stormy Daniels’ enduring links to Trump continue.
We’re generally leery of reports, especially when they seem to confirm everything that we suspect about a person we dislike.
But coming from a conservative outlet like the Wall Street Journal, whose sources for this apparently include multiple people in whom Stephanie Clifford confided the story that she publicly denies, it seems to hold water.
Of course, this is Trump. What would be a career-ending scandal for another politician seems to only inspire his most ardent defenders. Spite is making Trump-supporters twist themselves into knots to cover for him.
Maybe, one day, it will all be too much.
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