I had to cruelly rip myself from a rather satisfying Outlander binge to watch Stormy Daniels discuss having sex with Donald Trump, an experience that is essentially the complete opposite of Outlander. Or, if you removed all the hot Scot sex and left in only the 18th century amputation scenes, it was the exact same. For the most part, Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) didn’t reveal anything truly shocking, if just because at this point, there’s nothing left to shock us as a nation, short of a 70mm pee tape starring Ivanka and filmed and directed by Putin himself. And even then, I’d probably be kind of bored.
But there were some significant moments in Daniels’s brief and much-anticipated 60 Minutes sit-down with Anderson Cooper on Sunday night, not the least of which was her assertion that she took $130,000 in hush money from Trump lawyer Michael Cohen because someone threatened her daughter. Also, she reiterated and described in detail the moment Trump put the moves on her in the middle of a documentary on shark attacks, and now I can never again set foot in an aquarium.
So, here are some takeaways, with an assist from CBS’s transcript:
- Daniels reiterated that she did, in fact, spank Trump with a magazine featuring his photo on the cover. It was her idea, not his. “I was like, ‘Someone should take that magazine and spank you with it,’” Daniels told Cooper. “I don’t think anyone’s ever spoken to him like that, especially a young woman who looked like me. And I said, ‘Give me that,’ and I just remember him going, ‘You wouldn’t.’ ‘Hand it over.’ And so he did, and I was like, turn around, drop ‘em’.” Cool.
- Trump and Melania probably do not bang, quelle surprise. Cooper asked Daniels if Trump mentioned his wife or child (Barron Trump had just been born around the time of their alleged 2006 affair), and apparently Trump did not consider it an issue. “He brushed it aside, said, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, you know, don’t worry about that. We don’t even—we have separate rooms and stuff.’”
- The sex, which Daniels confirmed was consensual, does not sound like it was particularly good. “You were 27, he was 60. Were you physically attracted to him?” Cooper asked. “No,” Daniels said. “Not at all?” “No.” OUCH.
- Shark Week is ruined.
Stormy Daniels: I remember arriving, and he was watching Shark Week. He made me sit and watch an entire documentary about shark attacks
Anderson Cooper: it wasn’t at that point a business meeting, it was just watching Shark week.
Stormy Daniels: Yeah.
Anderson Cooper: Did you have sex with him again?
Stormy Daniels: No.
Anderson Cooper: Did he want to?
Stormy Daniels: Yes.
Anderson Cooper: How do you know he wanted to?
Stormy Daniels: Because he came and sat next to me and, you know, touched my hair, and put his hand on my leg, and referenced back to how great it was the last time.
- Daughters are also ruined. “He was like, ‘Wow, you— you are special. You remind me of my daughter,’” Daniels said, of her first encounter with Trump. This is notably not the first time Trump has compared a woman he wanted to have sex with to his daughter. I wonder what that could possibly mean!
- Daniels said she’d initially sold her Trump story to InTouch in 2011 for $15,000, but when a strange man threatened her and her then-newborn daughter in a parking lot before it was to go live, she dropped the story.
Stormy Daniels: I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter. T— 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.
Anderson Cooper: You took it as a direct threat?
Stormy Daniels: Absolutely.
Stormy Daniels: I was rattled. I remember going into the workout class. And my hands are shaking so much, I was afraid I was gonna— drop her.
That encounter, Daniels said, is why she denied the affair when a gossip magazine reported it later that year. It was also, she said, the impetus for taking $130,000 from Cohen (who denies threatening Daniels) shortly before Trump was elected in 2016, in exchange for her signature on a non-disclosure agreement. “I was concerned for my family and their safety,” Daniels said.
Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, insists Cohen threatened his client, an assertion Cohen denies. “This is about the cover-up,” Avenatti said. “This is about the extent that Mr. Cohen and the president have gone to intimidate this woman, to silence her, to threaten her, and to put her under their thumb. It is thuggish behavior from people in power. And it has no place in American democracy.” And Daniels, who’s been threatened with hefty fines over breaking her NDA, was clear she has no intention of backing down. “I was perfectly fine saying nothing at all, but I’m not okay with being made out to be a liar,” she said.
As of 9 p.m. on Sunday, Trump had not yet tweeted a response to the Daniels allegations, but certainly we can expect some Fun on the Internet tomorrow when it’s time for his morning bowel movement.