Stormy weather ahead
Stormy Daniels’ lawyer won’t air the evidence of the alleged Trump affair in public, but Daniels maintains her story.
WASHINGTON — A lawyer representing adult film star Stormy Daniels declined to specify additional evidence he claims he has of Daniels’ alleged affair with Donald Trump in 2006, adding “it make no sense for us to play our hand.”
Michael Avenatti, making a round of morning television appearances following the airing of Daniels’ “60 Minutes” interview, insisted there is more evidence to come, but that he and his client are withholding certain details, including the contents of a CD or DVD he tweeted a picture of.
“We’re not going to get into the details of everything we have at this time, and there’s a reason for that,” he said on NBC’s “Today” show. “We understand the American people want all the information right now, immediately. It would make no sense for us to play our hand as to this issue and we’re not going to do it right now.”
In the “60 Minutes” interview, Daniels said that she’d been threatened by an unidentified man in Las Vegas to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump, an incident that she said happened while she was with her young daughter. She said in the interview that she had one encounter of consensual sex with the future president.
“He knows I’m telling the truth,” said Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford. She does not allege that she was coerced in her encounter with Trump, saying, “This is not a ‘Me too.’ I was not a victim.”
Avenatti said last week that he is still working to verify the man’s identity, and that he has no direct evidence tying the threat to Trump or his lawyer “other than common sense.”
“It had to have come from someone associated with Mr. Trump, there is no other place for it to have come from. It didn’t come from the magazine, it makes no sense. It certainly didn’t come from my client,” he said on ABC.
He also taunted Trump for failing to tweet about the allegations, suggesting that meant they were true.
Trump did complain the following morning about there being, “So much Fake News,” but it’s unclear whether he was referring to Daniels.
In the interview, the adult film actress provided little new evidence of her alleged 2006 affair with Trump but said she faced intimidation tactics aimed at ensuring her silence in 2011.
Daniels said that in the incident, in a parking lot, the man told her: “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.” She said he then looked at her daughter and said, “That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.”
She received a $130,000 payment days before the 2016 presidential election for her silence and has sought to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement.
The White House did not immediately comment early last week on the interview.
Trump, through his representatives, has denied the allegations. His attorney, Michael Cohen, has said Trump never had an affair with Daniels. Cohen has said he paid the $130,000 out of his pocket.
Cohen’s attorney, Brent H. Blakely, denied that Cohen had anything to do with the threat.
“In truth, Mr. Cohen had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any such person or incident, and does not even believe that any such person exists, or that such incident ever occurred,” he said, demanding that Daniels “cease and desist from making any further false and defamatory statements about my client.”
Previously, Cohen has said neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Daniels and he was not reimbursed for the payment.
Stormy Daniels (left) talks with Anderson Cooper on the CBS News program “60 Minutes.”