White House: Trump Rejects Porn Star’s Claim of 2006 Affair

FILE - This combination of file pictures shows U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House, Feb. 14, 2018, and adult film actress Stormy Daniels in Las Vegas, Feb. 4, 2018.

The White House said Monday that President Donald Trump “doesn’t believe any of these accusations” made by adult film actress Stormy Daniels that she had a one-night affair with the future U.S. leader in 2006 and five years later was threatened to keep quiet about their alleged liaison.

Trump spokesman Raj Shah rejected any suggestion that Trump had engaged in wrongdoing because his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, paid the porn star $130,000 from his own funds in hush money shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

“False charges are settled out of court all the time,” said Shah, who faced a barrage of questions from reporters after a lengthy Daniels interview aired Sunday night on 60 Minutes, a CBS News show that drew its biggest ratings in a decade for the spectacle.

“He’s consistently denied these accusations,” Shah said of Trump. The spokesman said the 39-year-old Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was “inconsistent” because she has at various times denied she had a sexual encounter with Trump, but now claims she is telling the truth that she met up with him at a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada.

Stormy Daniels, an adult film star and director whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is interviewed by Anderson Cooper of CBS News' "60 Minutes" program in early March 2018, in a still image from video provided March 25, 2018.
Stormy Daniels, an adult film star and director whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is interviewed by Anderson Cooper of CBS News’ “60 Minutes” program in early March 2018, in a still image from video provided March 25, 2018.

Shah also dismissed Daniels’ claim that in 2011, when she was on her way to a fitness class in Las Vegas with her infant daughter, she was approached by a stranger who threatened her.

“A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,’ ” Daniels told journalist Anderson Cooper. “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.”

Trump has yet to comment directly on Daniels’ story. However, he posted a Twitter comment Monday that seemed to allude to the controversy.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!

Daniels says the Las Vegas incident occurred shortly after she first tried to sell her story about her encounter with Trump to a tabloid magazine. She said the incident made her fearful for years and that she thought she was doing the right thing when she accepted $130,000 from Trump attorney Cohen to stay quiet.

After The Wall Street Journal reported on the payment, Daniels told Cooper that she lied when she signed a statement denying the affair. When asked why, Daniels said she was bullied into it.

“They made it sound like I had no choice,” she said. While there was not any threat of physical violence at the time, she said, she was worried about other repercussions. “The exact sentence used was, ‘They can make your life hell in many different ways.'”

She said she didn’t know who could make her life hell, but that she believed “it to be Michael Cohen.”

Cohen has denied threatening Daniels, and refused a request to appear on 60 Minutes.

Late Sunday, a lawyer representing Cohen issued a letter demanding a retraction and an apology by Daniels, saying Cohen “had absolutely nothing whatsoever” to do with someone threatening her and that he “does not even believe that any such person exists.”

Playboy model

Daniels’ appearance represents back-to-back trouble for Trump after an interview broadcast last week on CNN with former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who described a 10-month-long affair with Trump starting in 2006, apparently at the same golf tournament Daniels says she first met the future president.

FILE - Then-newly named Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal poses on the grounds of the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California, May 29, 1998.
FILE – Then-newly named Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal poses on the grounds of the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California, May 29, 1998.

McDougal has sued to break free of a confidentiality agreement that was struck in the months before the 2016 election, for which she was paid $150,000.

Daniels sued the president on March 6, stating Trump never signed an agreement for her to keep quiet about their relationship.

Both women say their relationships with Trump began in 2006 and ended in 2007, and that they were paid for their silence in the months before the 2016 presidential election.

Representatives of Trump have dismissed the allegations of McDougal and Daniels, saying that the affairs never happened and that Trump had no knowledge of any payments.

Ahead of the Daniels interview, the president and first lady opted to be hundreds of kilometers apart. Trump returned to Washington from Palm Beach on Sunday, while Melania Trump remained in Florida on a pre-scheduled spring break with the couple’s 12-year-old son, Barron. – VOA