The case for taking the Trump-Stormy Daniels affair saga seriously

The most charitable interpretation of all of this would seem to be that someone very close to Trump paid a large sum of money to someone who was prepared to make a very serious allegation about the then-candidate. That doesn’t make whatever she was about to say true, of course, but it does suggest that Cohen (and possibly Trump?) felt there was a good reason to give her that money. It’s also worth asking why Cohen apparently wanted to keep the payment private, not to mention whose money it was…

The moral aspect of this would seem to have bigger implications for Trump’s personal life and possibly for views of him ahead of his 2020 reelection campaign, and that makes it worth pursuing the truth. But the bigger question may be whether there was anything untoward or legally dicey about the payment, which we still don’t know a ton about. And that’s really what takes this story from tabloid fodder to real news.