Well before Trump mocked Daniels’ physical appearance, he trial-ballooned the “horseface” dig privately—among White House aides, close friends, and acquaintances. One source close to Trump even recalled him saying in passing, “that fucking horseface.”
The president often tosses around ideas for snide new nicknames in smack-talk sessions with associates, if only to gauge their reactions. And, as in past cases, the “horseface” incident saw Trump defying presidential norms (whatever those are anymore) and ignoring senior aides and confidants who advised him simply to let the matter go.
According to a White House official and two other sources who talk regularly to Trump, many people in his orbit had for months told the president it was best not to elevate Daniels by, for example, rage-tweeting about her. Trump, for his part, argued that hitting back publicly and “hard” at the porn actress would not only be right, but could prove politically advantageous.