The White House Response To Stormy Daniels’ ’60 Minutes’ Interview Is A Pretty Clear Challenge
Following Stormy Daniels' highly-anticipated 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday night, the White House continued to deny her alleged affair with the president on Monday. Daniels is lying about sleeping with President Trump, the administration said. Though Trump has repeatedly said he didn't have a sexual relationship with the adult film star in 2006, as she claims, the White House response to the Stormy Daniels interview challenged her to prove the allegations. "There’s nothing to corroborate her claim," Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters on Monday.
Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted to paying Daniels $130,000 after she said she had an affair with Trump. Daniels is now suing Trump and claiming the non-disclosure agreement she signed just before the 2016 election, which was supposed to ensure her silence about the alleged affair, isn't valid because Trump never signed it himself. Shah said on Monday that "false charges are settled out of court all the time." He added: "This is nothing outside the ordinary."
While Shah's denial of the affair's existence wasn't out of the ordinary for the Trump White House, Daniels' story is anything but ordinary. As for whether or not Trump will address her allegations directly, Shah told the press: "That will be up to the president."
In her 60 Minutes interview, Daniels gave Anderson Cooper a detailed account of what she says happened between her and Trump. She wouldn’t confirm whether or not she has any photos, videos, or messages from Trump, however. She said her lawyer advised her not to comment on the matter, and Cooper pointed out that the non-disclosure agreement she's seeking to overturn stipulated that she destroy any confidential information that would prove the alleged affair.
That hasn't stopped Daniels from alluding to the fact that she has some type of tangible proof in her possession. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, tweeted a photo of a single CD inside a safe last week with the caption: “If ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ how many words is this worth?????”
When Cooper asked Avenatti if he was bluffing, the attorney challenged Cooper to "ask some of the other people in my career when they’ve bet on me bluffing."
Before the 60 Minutes interview aired, Avenatti posted on Twitter that he and his client wouldn't reveal all their cards just yet. "That would be foolish," he wrote. He also noted that CBS would likely have to cut parts of the interview because of time, warning people not to assume that what aired included everything Daniels said.
One of Daniels' and Avenatti's main strategies in the high-profile lawsuit is dangling the possibility of a photo or video before Trump. The White House's response on Monday suggests the president doesn't believe she has any incriminating evidence against Trump, though. "The President strongly clearly and consistently has denied these underlying claims," Shah said on Monday, repeating the president's previous dismissals of Daniels' story. "The only one who has been inconsistent is the one making the claims."
While those rooting for Daniels hope the secure CD posted on Avenatti's Twitter holds a compromising photo of Trump, the country likely won't know for sure until Daniels and her attorney choose to reveal its contents.
Daniels assured Cooper she would gain nothing from making up a fake affair — or evidence of an affair. "I have no reason to lie," she said on 60 Minutes. "I'm opening myself up for, you know, possible danger and definitely a whole lot of sh*t."
Daniels' final message to Trump in the 60 Minutes interview makes Monday's challenge to release any corroborating evidence even more daring. "He knows I'm telling the truth," she said.