BOSTON (CBS) – By now you likely have been unable to avoid learning about Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who claims to have been intimate with Donald Trump a decade before he ran for president, then threatened and pressured to deny the event by his associates as the election approached. If what she told “60 Minutes” the other night is true, it was like something out of a mob movie.
“I was in a parking lot going to a fitness class with my infant daughter,” she told CBS News, “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.’”
Scandalous, if true. But that’s a mighty big if. And while we have seen documents showing she signed a non-disclosure agreement and raising the possibility that the Trump lawyer who paid her off may have violated campaign finance laws while doing so, we have yet to see any actual evidence of this claimed threat.
So while we wait to see if there’s any real substance to the most serious charges here, let’s consider what the reaction to this story tells us about the state of our political discourse. Folks who hate the president are quick to believe anything that confirms their worst perceptions of him. Trump fans are quick to dismiss this and other evidence that, at the very least, he sees his marriage vows as an optional compliance situation.
And the rest of us are left to wonder – how can you trust a man who cheats on his wife so casually, but short of a crime having been committed, what difference does it really make?