Trump doesn't believe Stormy Daniels was threatened, White House says

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

President Trump doesn’t believe any of the claims porn star Stormy Daniels made during her highly watched interview on CBS’s60 Minutes,” the White House said on Monday. A spokesman specifically denied her assertion that she was threatened by a man in 2011 after having agreed to sell the story of her alleged sexual encounter with Trump to a magazine.

“The president doesn’t believe any of the claims Ms. Daniels made last night in the interview are accurate,” White House press secretary Raj Shah told reporters at a press briefing.

When asked whether Trump believes Daniels’s claim she was threatened, Shah replied, “No, he does not.”

“He just doesn’t believe, you know, there’s nothing to corroborate her claim,” Shah said.

Shah would not say whether Trump watched the interview.

“I’m not going to get into what he saw,” Shah said. “There were clips of it playing all over in the morning news shows. What I’ll just say is that he’s denied the accusations she made last night and has been consistent in doing so, and she has not.”

Daniels filed a defamation lawsuit on Monday against Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen. Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ lawyer, filed the lawsuit on behalf of his client, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

“It was reasonably understood Mr. Cohen meant to convey that Ms. (Stephanie) Clifford is a liar,” the complaint reads. 

During the interview, Daniels spoke publicly for the first time about her alleged 2006 tryst with Trump. Daniels said she met Trump at a July 2006 golf tournament and had consensual sex with him in his hotel suite. (At the time, Trump had been married to Melania Trump for over a year; their son, Barron, was less than 5 months old.)

Years later, Daniels said, she agreed to sell her story to a sister publication of In Touch magazine for $15,000, but the story never ran. Two former employees of the magazine told CBS News that Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, threatened to sue the publication. Daniels said afterward she was approached by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot.

“A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,’” Daniels recalled. “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.’” Daniels said she did not report the incident to police because she was scared.

In October 2016, Daniels said, she was again prepared to go public about her encounter with Trump. Cohen has acknowledged paying her $130,000 to stay silent. Daniels said she agreed, and signed a nondisclosure agreement, out of fear for her family’s safety.

At the White House, Shah directed reporters’ questions about the payment to the Trump campaign and Cohen. Some legal experts believe the payment, which was made 11 days before the 2016 presidential election, may have violated campaign finance laws.

“I can speak for only the White House,” Shah said. “I can say categorically the White House did not engage in any wrongdoing. The campaign or Mr. Cohen can address anything with respect to their actions. With respect to that interview, I will say the president strongly, clearly and has consistently denied these underlying claims. The only person that has been inconsistent is the one making the claims.”

Shah did confirm reports that Trump had dinner with Cohen at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night.

Trump has yet to respond directly to Daniels’s “60 Minutes” interview. Earlier Monday, the president tweeted, “So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!”

Asked why Trump has not addressed the Daniels saga directly, Shah said, “That’ll be up to the president.”

Check out what Stormy Daniels said about being threatened:

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