The long-awaited 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels aired tonight. Daniels told Anderson Cooper that after selling her story to a sister publication of In Touch Weekly in 2011—an agreement that later fell through—she was approached in a parking lot in Las Vegas by a man who told her to “Leave Trump alone.”
“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,” she recalled. “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.“
Daniels said that she took it as a direct threat, and that while she hasn’t seen the person since, that if she did, she “would know it right away.”
Daniels told Cooper that she met Donald Trump in July 2006 at a celebrity golf tournament, and that night, they had dinner. Allegedly, Trump—in the most unsurprising revelation ever—talked all about himself, and Daniels spanked him with a magazine he was on the cover of:
Stormy Daniels: Ummm (LAUGH) it started off— all about him just talking about himself. And he’s like— “Have you seen my new magazine?
Anderson Cooper: He was showing you his own picture on the cover of a magazine.
Stormy Daniels: Right, right. And so I was like, “Does this— does this normally work for you?” And he looked very taken— taken back, like, he didn’t really understand what I was saying. Like, I was— does, just, you know, talking about yourself normally work?” And I was like, “Someone should take that magazine and spank you with it.”
Stormy Daniels: Just, I don’t think anyone’s ever spoken to him like that, especially, you know, a young woman who looked like me. And I said, you know, “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.”
Anderson Cooper: You— you told Donald Trump to turn around and take off his pants.
Stormy Daniels: Yes.
Anderson Cooper: And did he?
Stormy Daniels: Yes. So he turned around and pulled his pants down a little — you know had underwear on and stuff and I just gave him a couple swats.
Trump also allegedly said he’d try to get Daniels a spot on the Apprentice.
Anderson Cooper: At this point was he doing The Apprentice?
Stormy Daniels: Yes. And he goes, “Got an idea, honeybunch. Would you ever consider going on and— and being a contestant?” And I laughed and— and said, “NBC’s never gonna let, you know, an adult film star be on.” It’s, you know, he goes, “No, no,” he goes, “That’s why I want you. You’re gonna shock a lotta people, you’re smart and they won’t know what to expect”
Anderson Cooper: Did you think he was serious, or did you think he was kind of dangling to get you to wanna be involved him?
Stormy Daniels: Both.
That night, Daniels said, they had sex. It sounds disgusting:
Stormy Daniels: I asked him if I could use his restroom and he said, “Yes, you know, it’s through those— through the bedroom, you’ll see it.” So I— I excused myself and I went to the— the restroom. You know, I was in there for a little bit and came out and he was sitting, you know, on the edge of the bed when I walked out, perched.
Anderson Cooper: And when you saw that, what went through your mind?
Stormy Daniels: I realized exactly what I’d gotten myself into. And I was like, “Ugh, here we go.” (LAUGH) And I just felt like maybe— (LAUGH) it was sort of— I had it coming for making a bad decision for going to someone’s room alone and I just heard the voice in my head, “well, you put yourself in a bad situation and bad things happen, so you deserve this.
Daniels maintains that she thought she was doing the right thing by signing the “hush money agreement” with Cohen.
“I turned down a large payday multiple times because one, I didn’t wanna kiss and tell and be labeled all the things that I’m being labeled now,” she told Cooper. “I didn’t wanna take away from the legitimate and legal, I’d like to point out, career that I’ve worked very hard to establish. And most importantly, I did not want my family and my child exposed to all the things that she’s being exposed to right now. Because everything that I was afraid of coming out has come out anyway, and guess what? I don’t have a million dollars.”
Former Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Potter, who served in the administration of George H.W. Bush, told that the “hush money agreement” between Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Daniels—which Daniels is now suing in a California court to have declared nulled and void— could constitute a campaign finance violation.
“It’s a $130,000 in-kind contribution by Cohen to the Trump campaign, which is about $126,500 above what he’s allowed to give,” Potter said. “And if he does this on behalf of his client, the candidate, that is a coordinated, illegal, in-kind contribution by Cohen for the purpose of influencing the election, of benefiting the candidate by keeping this secret.” If Trump paid him back, Potter said, the contribution would be mitigated, but if not, Cohen “is still out on the line, having made a illegal in-kind contribution to the campaign.”
Daniels says that her public denial of the affair, after a January Wall Street Journal report about the hush money agreement, was done out of fear of legal repercussions. “As a matter of fact, the exact sentence used was, ’They can make your life hell in many different ways,’” Daniels recalled. Cooper asked Daniels who “they” referred to. “I’m not exactly sure who ‘they’ were,” Daniels responded. “I believe it to be Michael Cohen.”
Cohen has denied ever threatening Daniels. 60 Minutes said that neither Cohen nor the White House responded to requests for comment. Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said that the story is “about the cover-up.”
“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,” Avenatti told Cooper. “It is thuggish behavior from people in power. And it has no place in American democracy.”