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Stormy Daniels appears on 60 Minutes in her first televised interview Sunday night detailing her alleged affair with Donald Trump. The adult film actress tells Anderson Cooper about interactions with the president extending back to 2006, while the CBS news magazine explored how Trump’s attempt to silence Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford) with a $130,000 payout could result in legal trouble for the president. (The White House has denied Daniels’ claims.)
Here are the six biggest takeaways from the transcript provided in advance by CBS:
Trump allegedly told Daniels she reminded him of Ivanka after being spanked. In a Lake Tahoe hotel room at a celebrity golf tournament, Daniels claimed she took the physical initiative by having Trump lower his pants and spanking him with a magazine with his face on the cover. She alleged right after swatting him, that Trump seemed more comfortable: “Wow, you– you are special. You remind me of my daughter,'” Daniels says Trump said. “You’re smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you.” (Former playmate Karen McDougal — who also alleges an affair with Trump at the same golf tournament — likewise has said Trump compared her to Ivanka.) Later, she says, they had sex for the first time.
Daniels claimed a physical threat was made against her by an unknown person. Daniels previously had publicly hinted that she had been indirectly physically threated by Trump. On 60 Minutes, she explained that a stranger approached her in 2011 after Trump’s lawyers had convinced a celebrity magazine to not run her tell-all story. “I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter. Taking, you know, the seats facing backwards in the backseat, diaper bag, you know, gettin’ all the stuff out. 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.”
Daniels said Trump suggested Melania didn’t sleep with him. When Daniels brought up Trump’s wife she said he “brushed [the topic of his marriage] aside”: “Oh yeah, yeah, you know, don’t worry about that. We don’t even– we have separate rooms and stuff.”
Daniels said she didn’t want to have sex with Trump, yet it was consensual. She called the 2006 encounter a “bad decision.” Asked if she was “at all” attracted to the then-60-year-old Trump she said, “No.” She also says he didn’t use a condom. She claims Trump repeatedly dangled an opportunity to appear on The Apprentice to try and convince her to sleep with him a second time, but the casting never happened and that she never agreed to any physical intimacy again. “[People with agendas are saying] “oh, you know, Stormy Daniels comes out #MeToo,” she said. “This is not a #MeToo. I was not a victim. I’ve never said I was a victim. Trying to use me to further someone else’s agenda, does horrible damage to people who are true victims…I thought of it as a business deal.”
Daniels hinted there might be physical evidence of the affair — but did not provide any. As part of her NDA, Daniels was required to turn over all “video images, still images, email messages, and text messages” about Trump. Asked if she did, Daniels said, “I can’t answer that right now” and “my attorney has recommended that I don’t discuss those things.” When Cooper suggested Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, might be bluffing, he replied, “You should ask some of the other people in my career when they’ve bet on me bluffing.”
Trevor Potter, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, said Trump could be in real trouble. Potter said Special Counsel Robert Mueller could try to prosecute Trump for his lawyer paying Daniels $130,000 as an undisclosed campaign contribution — and pointed out a rather similar precedent: The prosecution of former senator John Edwards for a payoff to a woman who secretly had his child. “I think the Edwards case is not as strong as the facts we have so far in the Trump case,” Potter says.
For more, read Kristen Baldwin’s review of Daniels’ “depressing” appearance on 60 Minutes.