Stormy Daniels brings light drizzle, with no thunder
|Stormy Daniels (Image via TMZ.com)|
Some of us in the news industry felt compelled — or rather I say forced — to watch the Stormy Daniels 60 Minutes interview with host Anderson Cooper Sunday night. I say, host because Anderson acted more the housewarming homeowner than the antagonist journalist he usually portrays on CNN.
Anderson Cooper threw light-ball questioning at Daniels and seemed to smooth over her story, rather than challenge her harshly on her story of Donald J. Trump’s sexual misgivings while married to Melania Trump, and a freshly made father of his third son Barron Trump in 2006.
His questioning was not along the lines of the hardball pitches he throws at some of his adversaries on Anderson Cooper 360. It was obvious that his intention was to position himself against now President Trump, by undermining Trump’s brazen and obvious lies about his former relationship with Stormy Daniels. He surely did not avoid digging into the raunchiness of the story to show the viewing public the truly disgusting side of our President, in turmoil.
However, his questioning of Daniel’s previous flip-floppiness on the subject and her intentions would, by some, be judged as softballs. Inducing a simplified approach to cover a necessary part of the interview without any difficult challenges to her answers.
That’s about all I can say negatively about the porn star turned political news star. I am not the type to harp on her choice of career, as it is legal, and we all have the right to make our own way of living within the law. Neither, may I hold any right to judge her for what she does. She was a grown woman of 28 at the time of the alleged affair with then 60-year-old Trump.
What we did become witness to though, was a story of the usual infidelity emboldened by cover-up, lies, threats, and a possible misuse of funds during a Presidential election campaign by Trump’s head lawyer Michael Cohen. However, no thunderous downpour of proof of illegal behavior by our vastly disdained President came out of the 60 Minutes story.
This morning on Morning Joe, Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti stated, “we are just getting started”, and that “Michael Cohen has zero credibility”. So, let’s take a brief look at what we found out from the somewhat dull, but informative interview with Anderson Cooper.
In 2011, five years after the alleged affair between Daniels and Trump took place, Daniels stated she was approached outside her car, with her infant at the time in a car seat in the back, by an unknown man who she claims threatened her if she were to say anything about the one-time tryst with then businessman, and The Apprentice star, Trump. She was told to keep it hush, or it would be “sad for something to happen to the little girl’s mother”, while he looked on at the infant in the back seat. He then disappeared, according to Daniels, never to be seen again. A man she states she would recognize one hundred percent if she were to see him again today.
Daniels admitted to carrying on a friendship with Trump after their alleged affair for a short time, as Donald continued to contact her time and again, inviting her to Trump Tower even, and asking her to be a contestant on The Apprentice. She stated that several friends and acquaintances overheard his calls to her on multiple occasions and that it was no big deal. Until the 2011 threat, which she believes came from Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen.
Then came the issue with Cohen in 2016. Anderson Cooper is quoted as stating:
“Donald Trump’s personal attorney paid a porn star named Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with the Republican candidate for president. Today, that arrangement is well on its way to becoming the most talked-about “hush agreement” in history, with potential legal and political implications for the president. Through his spokesman, Mr. Trump has denied having an affair with Stormy Daniels, and his lawyers are now threatening her with financial ruin, saying she has to pay $1 million dollars every time she violates her agreement to stay silent. But that didn’t stop her from coming on 60 Minutes.”
The legal issue at hand doesn’t actually put Trump in any warranted trouble. In fact, it is his lawyer Michael Cohen who could be facing legal issues over the apparent “hush agreement”, for which he has stated he put the $130,000 payment forth in return for her keeping quiet about the alleged affair. With the hush money coming from Cohen, through a newly established Delaware based limited liability corporation, called Essential Consultants, just a week and a half prior to the Presidential campaign, Trump’s lawyer could be under legal scrutiny and the loss of his license to practice law for overstepping a campaign contribution limit of $3,500. Complaints about this payment have been put into the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission.
According to former George W. H. Bush appointed F.E.C. chairman Trevor Potter, Cohen may have broken campaign finance laws by offering this money to cover up the incident and influence the election. Uncannily, this issue could have been mitigated by Trump paying Cohen back the funds out of his own pocket, which would have had no limit on the amount spent.
This situation may just be further fodder that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is mulling over in his probe into Trump and his electoral campaign.
In further review of the Stormy Daniels side of the 60 Minutes interview, no one watching could have possibly been eating a meal while listening to her describe what can only be considered a predatory and misogynistic, if not nepotistic version of the night of the alleged affair, in which, Trump’s overtures were difficult and downright embarrassing to listen to. Especially, the repeated version by another one of his multiple affairs in which he mentioned how beautiful Stormy was…like his daughter Ivanka Trump. Yuck, to say the least.
It is hard to condone the behavior of either adult or to take sides of the indiscretion, regardless of their huge difference in age, some 32 years at the time of the alleged incident. I imagine, most adults who hold any sort of candle to the light of decency found the 60-minute interview to be stomach turning and finished viewing without a lack of respect for any of the parties involved. Hardly mentioned, were the victims of the alleged affair, Melania, and Barron Trump. Yet, somehow, we all live in an illogical and brazenly ironic culture that sees Evangelical Christian followers supporting a brazen truth slayer in President Donald J. Trump.
What has America turned into, and where can we go from here? Hopefully, for the sake of our country’s future, the 2018 election will answer and attempt to make sense out of all of that the Trump Presidency has beleaguered the White House with.
* Originally published on Medium.com