The long-awaited sit-down between porn queen Stormy Daniels aka Stephanie Clifford and "60 Minutes" reporter Anderson Cooper aired Sunday evening, resulting in several big surprises from the woman who alleges to have had sex with Donald Trump in 2006.
Daniels has alleged that she had a sexual liaison with Trump after meeting him at a golf tournament right after his wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron. She was paid $130,000 in "hush money" immediately before the 2016 election by Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who has admitted he paid her that amount from a personal home equity loan.
Now, Daniels is suing to get out of the agreement, alleging that Trump never signed it, making it invalid.
In the "60 Minutes" interview, Daniels dropped several bombshells, some of which could become serious legal and/or political issues for President Trump:
(1) Trump Compared Her to His Daughter
When they first met, just before they had sex, Daniels claimed Trump compared her to his daughter, Ivanka Trump. "'Wow, you, you are special,'" Daniels quoted Trump as telling her. "'You remind me of my daughter,' you know, he's like, 'You're smart, you're beautiful, and you're a woman to be reckoned with.'"
(2) Daniels Spanked Trump with His Own Magazine, Which Had His Face on the Cover
When they first met, Daniels says Trump showed off a copy of his self-titled magazine (which was in publication from 2006-2009), bragging about himself. She asked him if talking about himself usually worked (regarding scoring points with the ladies), which she told Cooper had caught Trump offguard. She said he needed to be spanked, instructed him to turn around and drop his pants, and Trump obeyed. Daniels says she swatted him on his rear end through his underwear, which caused him to stop self-promoting and begin asking her questions about herself. She characterized their conversation after that as more "appropriate."
(3) They Only Had Sex Once
Though the alleged relationship between Trump and Daniels has been characterized as an "affair," Daniels asserted that she consented to sex one time with Trump, but put him off when he tried to initiate a second encounter a year after they met.
(4) They Didn't Use Protection
Cooper pointed out that using condoms is a hot-button issue in Daniels' business, adult entertainment, but she confessed she didn't ask Trump to use a protection. "I honestly didn't say anything," Daniels admitted. She did strongly deny that their encounter was in any way nonconsensual, even though she said she was not sexually attracted to Trump.
(5) She Said He Used "The Celebrity Apprentice" to Entice Her
Daniels said before they had sex, Trump floated the idea of her appearing on his TV show "The Celebrity Apprentice." She told Cooper she understood this was a longshot, but viewed her encounter with Trump as a "business deal." Of what she saw as Trump stringing her along with the promise of TV fame, she said, "That part I never believed... I mean, I'm not blind. But at the same time, 'maybe it'll work out,' y'know?" He told her it would not work out a month after she turned down his second sexual pass.
(6) Daniels Claims She and Her Infant Daughter Were Threatened
In the interview's most serious moment, Daniels said that in May 2011, five years after she had sex with Trump, when Daniels agreed to talk to a tabloid about their tryst for $15,000, she was surprised in a Las Vegas parking lot while exiting her car with her infant daughter to attend a fitness class. She said, "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, 'A beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom.' And then he was gone." Daniels said she was "rattled" by what she perceived to be a "direct threat." She also said she would "100%" be able to identify that man today. When a gossip site reported on the sexual encounter several months later, Daniels decided to deny she ever had an affair with Trump.
(7) Daniels Signed a Nondisclosure Agreement, Continued to Deny the Affair to Protect Her Family
Although Trump had never asked Daniels to keep their affair quiet, and allegedly told her he and Melania had separate beds, Daniels said she was approached by Trump's personal lawyer shortly before the 2016 election. At that time, she agreed to sign a nondisclosure agreement in exchange for $130,000 — which she pointed out was far less money than she could have gotten for talking to the press — because she did not "wanna kiss and tell and be labeled all the things that I'm being labeled now," did not want it to harm her porn career, and did not want her husband and child to suffer in the media. "Everything that I was afraid of coming out, has come out anyway — and guess what? I don't have a million dollars."
On the show, Daniels and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, would neither confirm nor deny having text messages or revealing photos of Trump. She wrapped up the interview by asserting of Trump, "He knows I'm telling the truth."
The payment Cohen made to Daniels is now the subject of complaints to the FEC and the Justice Department, with allegations centering on the money as "an illegal campaign contribution."
Cohen has denied ever threatening Daniels, and Trump — via spokespeople — has "denied all these allegations" regarding Daniels. He has asserted in a court filing that Daniels could be liable for up to $20 million for violating their nondisclosure agreement.
The interview delivered "60 Minutes" its highest ratings in 10 years.