On March 25th, adult film star Stormy Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford) was interviewed by 60 Minutes to discuss her alleged affair with President Trump in 2006. The information revealed during the Stormy Daniels interview suggested that the president had cheated on his wife, Melania Trump, after she had just given birth to their son, Barron. There was speculation as to how Melania reacted to the interview, especially since she did not return with her husband to Washington from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters that Melania Trump would be staying Florida “as is their tradition for spring break.”
On the night of the interview, Stephanie Grisham, the White House Director of Communications for Melania Trump, tweeted: “While I know the media is enjoying speculation & salacious gossip, Id [sic] like to remind people there’s a minor child who’s [sic] name should be kept out of news stories when at all possible.” While a name is not specifically mentioned in the tweet, it is likely that Grisham would be referring to Barron.
However, there have been some responses on Twitter pointing out that two children have actually been involved in the entire scandal. During the interview, Daniels claimed that in 2011 she had been approached by a man in a parking lot while she was with her infant daughter. This was around the time she had offered to sell her story to In Touch magazine (the story was published in January of this year, but Daniels was not paid for it). She told Anderson Cooper “a guy walked up to me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.’ And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, “That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ And then he was gone.”
The Twitter replies criticizing Grisham’s tweet were numerous. @MOWaterhouse wrote: “No one mentioned the ‘minor child’, certainly not by name. I’m betting Sasha & Malia Obama wish they had been given the same consideration when Melania went on television and called their father’s birth certificate a fake. It reminded me of something called–bullying. That’s it!” Twitter user @TheFugitivePoet replied, “May we remind you, Ms. Mouthpiece, that you are the one mentioning the minor child and the media is not responsible for the debauchery and deceit by your client or her family. Capisci?” Melania Trump has not directly responded to the Stormy Daniels Interview. Since the interview, she has only tweeted once in regards to the opioid memorial at the Ellipse in President’s Park.
Stormy Daniels revealed the extent of her affair with President Trump in detail during her interview. She claimed that he had asked her to spank him with a magazine which had his face on the cover, and also that he told her she reminded him of his daughter Ivanka. When asked by Cooper what she would say to the President if he was watching the interview, Daniels replied: “He knows I’m telling the truth.” Daniels also claimed that she had tried to discuss Melania Trump with Donald on the night of the affair, saying “I asked. And he brushed it aside, said, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, you know, don’t worry about that. We don’t even– we have separate rooms and stuff.’”
It has also been reported that in 2016, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, offered Stormy Daniels $130,000 to stay quiet about their alleged affair. Cohen claimed that the money was his own, but now there are questions of whether the payment may have broken campaign finance laws. Trevor Potter, a former chairman of the Federal Elections Committee, told 60 Minutes “it’s a $130,000 in-kind contribution by Cohen to the Trump campaign, which is about $126,500 above what he’s allowed to give. And if he does this on behalf of his client, the candidate, that is a coordinated, illegal, in-kind contribution by Cohen for the purpose of influencing the election, of benefiting the candidate by keeping this secret.” Cohen has claimed that he was never reimbursed by Donald Trump or the Trump Organization.
While President Trump is known for his retorts on Twitter, he did not directly mention 60 Minutes or Stormy Daniels when he tweeted on March 26th, “So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!” When asked about the President’s relative restraint in regards to the interview, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said “I don’t think it’s silent when the president has addressed this, we’ve addressed it extensively, there’s just nothing else to add, just because you guys continue to ask the same question over and over and over again doesn’t mean we that have to keep coming up with new things to say.” However, an unnamed source told the Washington Post that Trump had watched the interview, and had asked his staff if they believed it or not. The source also claimed that Trump said Daniels is not credible, nor is she “the type of woman he finds attractive.”
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