The highly anticipated 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels finally aired on Sunday night, and while millions of people who have not breathlessly watched the news over the last few months may find portions of the interview revealing, little in the interview is new to those of us who have been following the news story. Daniels more or less recounts what we knew from a past interview and from her friends about the affair, except the parts about intimidation, bullying, and the time when an unknown man threatened to kill her over the story.
But why is she even doing it, Cooper asks. Stormy Daniels says it is to set the record straight, to defend herself. “I was perfectly fine saying nothing at all, but I’m not OK being made out to be a liar, or thinking that I’m doing it for money.”
“This is not a MeToo [moment]. I am not a victim,” she continued. “I have never been a victim.” To suggest otherwise, she says, does damage to those who are actually victims.
In their initial encounter, Daniels recounts, Donald Trump began talking about himself, which Daniels found offputting. Daniels took the Forbes magazine Trump was using to brag about himself, told him to pull down his pants, and she spanked him with it. After that, he stopped talking about himself all the time and actually began asking her questions.
Donald got spanked on his ass by his own face— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 25, 2018
“You remind me of my daughter. You are smart and beautiful,” Daniels said he often told her.
As for Melania, Daniels said that Trump told her, “Don’t worry about that. We have separate bedrooms,” suggesting that their marriage was one of appearance.
Daniels admits that she did have sex with Trump, though she says she was never attracted to him. “Not at all.” She didn’t want to have sex with him, “but I didn’t say no.”
Standout part of this interview is Stormy Daniels saying she wasn’t attracted to Trump. He was incredibly proud of the “Best Sex I Ever Had” NY Post front page. That won’t sit well.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 25, 2018
“You got yourself into this situation,” she thought, “and bad things happen, so you deserve this.” It was entirely consensual, Stormy admitted. Moreover, he did not use a condom, though she did not ask him to, either.
Afterward, Trump said that he hoped to see her again. “It was not a secret. He never asked me not to tell anyone.” Daniels also suggested that he dangled an appearance on The Apprentice as a means to string her along, which she knew and understood.
During “The Shark Week” encounter spoken about in a past interview, they did not have sex again. The following month, Trump said that he couldn’t get her on Celebrity Apprentice. They did not see each other again.
At one moment in 2011, when the story surfaced, an unknown person threatened Stormy Daniels in front of her infant daughter. “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,” he said. “That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom,” the unknown man allegedly told Daniels in a parking lot. Daniels never saw the man again. She did not go to the police.
Intimidation is not unusual for Trump.
Last year, my @BuzzFeedNews colleagues and I documented three separate instances of people reporting to the police and FBI that they were physically threatened by people close to Trump. The incidents date back to the 1980s. https://t.co/E51BxB3GoVhttps://t.co/cVZu50nzZ7 pic.twitter.com/mDDtnO1mX3— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) March 26, 2018
In 2016, Cohen paid her $130,000 not to talk about the affair. She signed the agreement 11 days before the election. Daniels felt that she had no choice but to sign the agreement, and she turned down bigger paydays in exchange for the $130,000.
Later, Daniels released a statement at the behest of Michael Cohen, saying that she did not have an affair with Trump. Cohen suggested to her that he could “make her life hell” if she did not cooperate. Re: the signed denials, Daniels says she felt bullied and intimidated into signing them.
Daniels nor her lawyer would speak to whether she had pictures of Trump or text-message exchanges.