For cripes sake. Which juror in the court of public opinion is still mulling his or her verdict on Daniels’s credibility after all this time? And who’s occupying the niche that finds a career in porn no bar to credibility but a two-minute star turn on “Saturday Night Live” as reputation-shattering?
The argument here from Sara Haines is that showing up on SNL to goof on Trump suggests Daniels is publicizing her alleged affair with him for fame. Does anyone doubt that? Daniels herself has tried to frame it in nobler terms, claiming that she’s “tired of being threatened,” but she wasn’t too tired to sign a hush-money deal with Michael Cohen in late 2016 instead of revealing all of this back then. Nor was there any reason to threaten her legally *after* she signed the agreement that bought her silence until she started violating it by talking again. It’s more likely that she realized last year that a story of an affair with a president was worth more than a story of an affair with a presidential candidate, particularly when he seemed likely to lose the election and her account risked being drowned out by the “Access Hollywood” fiasco and the sexual assault allegations against Trump. Don’t forget, by Daniels’s own admission, what kept her interested in Trump in 2007 was him telling her that he might be able to land her a gig as a contestant on “The Apprentice.” From the beginning she saw him as a conduit to greater fame. It took her 11 years but she finally parlayed her relationship with him into an appearance on a hit NBC show.
Let’s be charitable and say that fame is *one* important motive to her, whether or not it’s the only or most important one. So what, though? A selfish motive is a reason to presume that a witness is lying but the details of Daniels’s account have been consistent from the time she first told them to In Touch in 2011 to her “60 Minutes” appearance this year. Friends and random acquaintances have confirmed to reporters that she’s been telling them this same story since the affair allegedly ended in 2007. Some even claim to have heard Trump on speakerphone with her at the time. It’s Trump and his cronies who can’t seem to get their stories straight about their interactions with Daniels. And the idea that $130,000 is such a piddling sum to anyone, let alone Trump, that he and Cohen would pay it to someone who was brazenly extorting them with what they knew was a lie is insulting to the intelligence. She’s rebutted the presumption that this is a fairy tale made up to boost her public profile. If that’s what this was, wouldn’t she have made it much more salacious than a single dismal encounter in a Nevada hotel room 10 years ago?
If you want to knock her SNL appearance, this is better grounds:
Turning Daniels and her lawyer into #Resistance heroes, as Amanda Carpenter seems to do in the “View” clip below, is depressing. Trump was the one with the marital obligation when they got together, granted, but she was a willing collaborator. There’s no one to admire in this. Carpenter is right, though, that she and Michael Avenatti seem to have nothing but success against Trump when his political enemies seem to have nothing but failure. POTUS can talk his way out of anything — except this, weirdly, where his legal jeopardy seems to get worse by the day. There’s even a febrile scenario in which Stormy brings down the Trump presidency, as the U.S. Attorney’s interest in Michael Cohen for possible campaign finance violations leads to evidence of other, more serious crimes and suddenly Trump’s under indictment and/or impeached. To hardcore anti-Trumpers, Daniels is Dorothy and Trump is the wicked witch. (And Cohen, of course, is the flying monkey.) Of course the munchkins are going to cheer her.
quotation observation: There may well be a fame whore on Team Daniels, but it ain’t Stormy.