- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 25, 2018

Stormy Daniels said that in 2011, a few weeks after a magazine spiked an interview she had given about having had an affair with Donald Trump, she was threatened by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot.

According to a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday, InTouch decided not to run the interview because, when contacted for comment, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen threatened to sue.

The adult film star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford told Anderson Cooper that she later got a “direct threat.”

“I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter … and a guy walked up on 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,” Ms. Clifford said.

She told Mr. Cooper that she did not go to the police at the time “because I was scared.”

It was not the only matter that Ms. Clifford blamed fear and pressure for her previous public behavior, which seems inconsistent with her words now, in which she claimed a 2006-07 affair with the future president.

In the interview, she also acknowledged lying in public statements in which she denied an affair with Mr. Trump.

Ms. Clifford said she felt pressured into signing both a $130,000 “hush money” agreement with Mr. Cohen in October 2016 and a later public denial of an affair that he issued on Ms. Clifford’s behalf earlier this year.

“If it was untruthful, why did you sign it?” Mr. Cooper asked her.

Her reply was “they made it sound like I had no choice,” which prompted Mr. Cooper to note that “no one was putting a gun to your head.”

Ms. Clifford agreed with Mr. Cooper’s prompt that she thought “there would be some sort of legal repercussion if you didn’t sign it.”

“Correct. As a matter of fact, the exact sentence used was, ‘They can make your life hell in many different ways,’” Ms. Clifford said, elaborating that she believed the “they” in question was Mr. Cohen.

The White House did not provide “60 Minutes” with comment for the segment, beyond asking that CBS read on-air the January 2018 denial Ms. Clifford signed but says now was a lie.

“My involvement with Donald Trump was limited to a few public appearances and nothing more,” Ms. Clifford then said.

But in the “60 Minutes” segment both Ms. Clifford and her attorney hinted that have hard evidence beyond her mere word.

According to a 2016 nondisclosure agreement, which she is suing to have declared null and void, Ms. Clifford was required to turn over all “video images, still images, email messages, and text messages” she may have had regarding Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cooper asked her “Did you do that?” and a similar follow-up question.

Her replies were “I can’t answer that right now” and “My attorney has recommended that I don’t discuss those things.”

The “60 Minutes” segment then cut to attorney Michael Avenatti being told by Mr. Cooper “You seem to be saying that she has some sort of text message, or video, or — or photographs. Or you could just be bluffing.”

Mr. Avenatti parried the question in a threatening way. “You should ask some of the other people in my career when they’ve bet on me bluffing,” he replied.

Mr. Avenatti also made a legal threat against Mr. Cohen, saying in the segment that he has proof Mr. Cohen was acting on behalf of Mr. Trump, contrary to his public claims, when he gave the adult-film star the $130,000 the same month she signed a nondisclosure agreement.

In an important point regarding whether the payment might be a campaign-finance violation, Mr. Cohen has said he gave Ms. Clifford, the money from his own funds and without the knowledge or connivance of Mr. Trump or his businesses.

Mr. Avenatti “found documents that show Michael Cohen used his Trump Organization email address in setting up the payment,” CBS reported.

Mr. Avenatti also told CBS that when the nondisclosure agreement was signed, it was shipped overnight to Mr. Cohen at his Trump Organization Office at Trump Tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

“That is a copy of the Federal Express confirmation,” Mr. Avenatti said on the air.

He concluded: “this idea that there’s a separation now between Mr. Cohen individually and the Trump Organization, or Mr. Cohen individually and Donald Trump — it’s nonsense.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide