The Donald Trump presidency is a never-ending circus of political fumbling, employment turnaround, and, thanks to one Stormy Daniels, public scandal. So when the adult film actress took her story on 60 Minutes, on March 25, of course everyone broke out the popcorn. Stormy Daniels' 60 Minutes interview is one story that seriously, no one can look away from.
Daniels' story feels pulled right from a tawdrier episode of House of Cards or Scandal or something along those lines. In early January, The Wall Street Journal published a story alleging that Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, had paid Daniels (whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford) $130,000 in 2016 to keep her quiet about an alleged affair that she had with Trump in 2006. From there, the story snowballed, as Cohen claimed he had paid Daniels out of his own pocket, Trump repeatedly denied the allegations of an affair, and questions of whether a payment to Daniels violated campaign finance rules started swirling. But it wasn't until Daniels took the public stance that her non-disclosure agreement (NDA) wasn't legally valid, that details of the alleged affair started emerging.
And that's how we ended up here, with Stormy Daniels appearing on 60 Minutes. In this 18th year of the 21st century, we were all on the edges of waiting to hear an adult film actress discuss her alleged affair with our president. This is America, everyone.
But hey, at least we got our dysfunctional drama's worth out of it. In the interview with Anderson Cooper which aired on March 25, Daniels recounted details of the alleged affair, including an incident where she allegedly spanked the president with a magazine with his own face on it; the fact that she claims he told her she reminded him of his daughter (ew); and, disturbingly, a claim that she was threatened by a mysterious man who warned her to drop her story about Trump. (The White House did not immediately return Elite Daily's request for comment regarding the alleged threats.)
Basically, this is some Grade A political drama. Can you blame Twitter for being hyped?
Some people got stuck on certain moments.
For which I will blame no one. This thing was wild from start to finish.
The suspense was heightened by the fact that the interview actually started airing late.
The NCAA Duke vs. Kansas March Madness game ran overtime, adding more than 20 minutes of suspense to the whole thing. I think I can confidently say that this was the first time so many people under 40 have been so salty about whether 60 Minutes was on time.
Ultimately, Daniels' interview didn't tell us too much that we didn't already know — it just filled in some of the more ~scandalous~ details (I think I need some bleach for my brain after hearing about him being spanked with a magazine with his own face on the cover), and gave us a few clues about where this whole thing might go next.
Perhaps most interestingly, Daniels hinted that she had physical evidence of the affair — whether that means texts, emails, or (god forbid) pictures, it would lend a lot of weight to claims against Trump, and make it harder for him to dismiss them. Daniels was cagey about whether she had the evidence, though. "My attorney has recommended that I don't discuss those things," she told Cooper.
If so it could spell trouble for Trump. Trevor Potter, the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, told Cooper that a payment to Daniels could potentially fall under the purview of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election. He noted the precedent of the case of John Edwards, who was prosecuted for payments made to a former mistress in 2008. "I think the Edwards case is not as strong as the facts we have so far in the Trump case," Potter said, hinting that the worst could still be yet to come for the president.
So what next? Well, there's at least two things I think I can predict with confidence. One, more drama. And two, that Twitter will be ready with the popcorn.