Is The Stormy Story More Damaging Than We Thought?

Adult film star Stormy Daniels appeared at a news conference to tout the success of Restricted to Adults (RTA) website and other efforts by the adult film industry to protect children from inappropriate material held at the National Press Club, May 29, 2008.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group

We just finished recording this week’s episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast. We had a special guest, Joan Walsh. We talked about the Stormy Daniels’ story among other topics, including the 2016 election. But I wanted to flag one point we discussed in this episode that I’ve learned over recent days. What Daniels told 60 Minutes is more damaging than people may realize.

In many ways, having sex with a porn star is on-brand for Donald Trump. He spent decades playing up a reputation as a billionaire playboy. These stories seem to have stirred discord in Trump’s marriage. They’re hard to square with his current role as the darling of conservative evangelicals. But they play to the tough guy, dominant and hyper-masculine image he likes to portray. He’s boasted for years about his purported sexual prowess and the Access Hollywood tape and the subsequent string of accusations of various kinds of sexual misconduct confirmed his role as a sexual predator.

But Daniels apparently says something different. I’m told that in her 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper Daniels suggests that Trump, how to say this, likes it when women aren’t nice to him, treat him in perhaps denigrating ways.

I think that would be very much off brand for Trump. It also puts in sharper relief why he and his lawyer seem to be fighting so hard to keep Daniels’ story under wraps. It also deepens my curiosity about whether CBS will have the stomach to air that part of the story.

The interview did not run this weekend and it is not clear when it will run. CBS says they want to take their time reporting out Daniels’ claims. That is of course laudable and appropriate. But I’m not sure how they’d report out claims like that. In any case, as I noted Friday, I think we should be very skeptical whether 60 Minutes is really going to broadcast Daniels’ full story. It’s hard to imagine this isn’t playing into the apparent delay.