Adult film star Stormy Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford) appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes in an interview with Anderson Cooper to tell her story about the affair she alleges she had with President Donald Trump in 2006. This interview is Daniels’ first official public acknowledgement of the affair since she signed a non-disclosure agreement 11 days before the 2016 election that saw Donald Trump win the American presidency.
At the beginning of the month, Daniels filed a lawsuit against Trump, claiming that the NDA — or “hush agreement” as she and her lawyer call it — was invalid because while she and Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen signed the document, Trump did not. It is under this assumption that Daniels agreed to the 60 Minutes interview which was supposedly recorded earlier in March, but aired Sunday night.
And boy was it a doozy! Daniels not only elaborated on a lot of the implications her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, made over the past two weeks, she also shed light on her motivations for signing the NDA in the first place and confirmed startling details from the night that started this whole mess.
In case you don’t have 60 minutes to watch a porn star give explicit details about the American president’s sexual preferences (that’s a sentence we never thought we’d say), here are the highlights and takeaways from Stormy’s interview.
“You remind me of my daughter”
There are a lot of creepy things we know about Donald Trump but one theme that gets us every time is his weird infatuation with his daughter Ivanka. Over the years, many video clips and sound bites have surfaced of POTUS either calling his daughter attractive, touching her in a way fathers should never touch their daughters or blatantly stating that if she wasn’t his daughter, he would “probably be dating her.”
In the interview Sunday, Daniels said that while they were intimate, Trump told her that she reminded him of his daughter.
“He was like, ‘Wow, you — you are special. You remind me of my daughter,'” she told Cooper, “You know — he was like, ‘You’re smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you.'”
“He was like, ‘wow, you are special. You remind me of my daughter.’” –Stormy Daniels says of her conversation with Mr. Trump the night they met. pic.twitter.com/Mj52gSoDbH
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) March 25, 2018
Earlier this week, former Playboy model Karen McDougal came forward about an affair she claims she had with the president around the same time as Daniels. She also said that Trump compared her to Ivanka, saying she was “beautiful like her,” and “a smart girl.”
He offered her a stint on The Apprentice
In a classic coercion technique – or maybe just to seem powerful – Daniels also revealed that Trump offered her a position on The Apprentice, which he was still doing at the time.
“He goes, ‘Got an idea, Honeybunch,'” she said, imitating the president’s voice, “‘Would you ever consider going on and being a contestant?’ And I laughed and I said, ‘NBC’s never going to let an adult film star be on.’
“He goes, ‘No, no, that’s why I want you. You’re going to shock a lot of people. You’re smart. They won’t know what to expect.'” When asked if she thought he was serious or just dangling the possibility of an Apprentice appearance in front of her as incentive to sleep with him, Daniels answered, “Both.”
Spanked with a Forbes magazine
In January, a report by online publication Mother Jones claimed that one of the details given by Daniels about the affair (pre-NDA) was that Trump asked her to spank him with a copy of Forbes magazine featuring his picture on the cover. That’s a little bit more than we ever wanted to know about Trump. Daniels confirmed that report in the interview Sunday.
In an even more interesting turn of events, people naturally did a little digging into which issue of Forbes Donny might have had with him for the event. While it’s unconfirmed, it would appear that a 2006 “400 Richest People in America” issue is the most likely. The kicker: he’s not alone on the cover. It also features Donald Jr. and, you guessed it, Ivanka.
How many times was Trump on the cover of @Forbes in 2006? Because the one cover I was able to find didn’t just have him on it — it also had Donald Jr. and Ivanka. Is this the mag Stormy Daniels spanked Trump with? pic.twitter.com/41sCQmWzVK
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 26, 2018
She says she’s not a victim
A point Daniels wanted to drive home was that she is not a victim of the president. She was adamant that their sexual encounter was consensual. The problem is: she also says she blames herself, that she was not attracted to Trump and that she didn’t want to have sex with him.
“This is not a ‘Me Too,'” she said, “I was not a victim. I’ve never said I was a victim. I think trying to use me to—to further someone else’s agenda does horrible damage to people who are true victims.”
Later in the interview, Cooper asked if she was physically attracted to Trump, reminding everyone that Daniels was 27 while the future president was 60. She replied that “no” she was not attracted to him, but “yes” the sex was consensual.
While Daniels is the only one who can decide whether she felt violated by the encounter or not, many commentators are drawing parallels between her account and those of Harvey Weinstein’s victims. Especially considering her self-blame for getting into the scenario in the first place.
“I had it coming for making a bad decision for going to someone’s room alone,” she said, “I just heard the voice in my head, ‘Well, you put yourself in a bad situation and bad things happen, so you deserve this.'”
“I had it coming for making a bad decision for going to someone’s room alone and I just heard the voice in my head, ‘well, you put yourself in a bad situation and bad things happen, so you deserve this.’” My God. Trump may not have raped Stormy Daniels, but that is rape culture.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 26, 2018
It’s possible she’s got Trump nudes (ew)
When Daniels filed her lawsuit against the president earlier this month, one thing she and her lawyer were coy about was if she perhaps possessed visual documentation of the affair. The NDA states that any material proof she had was to be turned into Trump’s lawyers, but it was unclear if Daniels had done that or retained something.
In the week leading up to the airing of the interview, Daniels’ lawyer tweeted a photo of a DVD with the text, ‘If ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ how many words is this worth?????” He has also consistently said that evidence will come forward to prove the affair, although nothing concrete was presented during the interview.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 23, 2018
Why this isn’t just gossip: illegal campaign finance practices
While this whole thing might feel like tabloid junk, there are two main reasons that the affair, and the circumstances of it, matter. The first is that it is possible Michael Cohen illegally used Trump campaign funds to pay the $130,000 “hush money” to Daniels a week and a half before the election. While Cohen claims he used money from his own pocket to pay the settlement, Daniel’s lawyer says that’s “nonsense.”
Attorney Michael Avenatti disputes the notion that Michael Cohen was working in a purely personal capacity when he arranged the hush money for Stormy Daniels. pic.twitter.com/91T0ofMnjt
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) March 25, 2018
WTIJG part II: she claims she was threatened
The second reason is far more sinister. While Daniels’ lawyer had been suggesting there was intimidation involved in her signing of the NDA, it wasn’t until Sunday’s interview that we heard it from Daniels and got the details.
Daniels told Cooper that before she signed the NDA, she was approached by a man in the parking lot of a fitness club in Las Vegas while getting her infant daughter out of her car seat. She said that the man told her to “leave Trump alone. Forget the story.” Then physically threatened her.
“He leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful girl. It’d be a shame if something were to happen to her mom,'” Daniels recounted.
Not long after the magazine story was killed, Stormy Daniels says she was threatened by a man who approached her in Las Vegas. “A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘leave Trump alone. Forget the story.’” pic.twitter.com/JMskKQiYCi
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) March 25, 2018
NDAs, Cease and desists, and slander
Questions that remain after the interview are numerous, but the two biggest ones are: 1) Is the NDA actually void? and 2) Is Trump really going to counter-sue? Trump’s lawyer filed a cease and desist shortly after Daniels filed her suit against the president, claiming over $20 million in damages. It is unclear if this suit will move forward or not.
One important note to make is that Trump’s lawyers are going after Daniels over the NDA, not accusing her of slander – the crime of making false spoken statements to damage a person’s reputation. That suggests that there is truth to the claims she has made.