Monday 21 May 2018

Trump unleashes Twitter tirade to break silence on porn star's claims of affair

Porn star Stormy Daniels (pictured) released an artist’s sketch of a man she says threatened her over her alleged affair. Photo: Reuters
Porn star Stormy Daniels (pictured) released an artist’s sketch of a man she says threatened her over her alleged affair. Photo: Reuters

Rozina Sabur

US President Donald Trump has broken his silence on the media frenzy surrounding allegations he had an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels for the first time.

Ms Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, claims she had sex with Mr Trump in 2006 just months after his wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron.

In a tweet, the US president accused Ms Daniels of a "total con job" after the porn star released an artist's sketch of an unidentified man she claims threatened her in a car park in 2011.

Ms Daniels claimed the man warned her not to talk about an alleged sexual encounter with Mr Trump, which the president says never happened.

Earlier this year Ms Daniels used her first television interview discussing the alleged affair to reveal she signed a non-disclosure agreement in 2016.

She said she signed the agreement, which was made just weeks before the presidential election, in part because she was afraid of physical harm.

Former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal (pictured) is now free to talk about her alleged affair with Donald Trump
Former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal (pictured) is now free to talk about her alleged affair with Donald Trump

"I was concerned for my family and their safety," she said. "This 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."

In his first ever reference to Ms Daniels on Twitter, Mr Trump said: "A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools".

It comes after FBI officials raided the office and home of Michael Cohen, Mr Trump's long-term personal attorney who paid the porn star $130,000 (€105,000) after she alleged an affair.

Mr Cohen's payment to Ms Daniels has come under scrutiny after it emerged it was made just weeks before the 2016 election.

Watchdog

An election watchdog group complained about the payment, arguing it could be classed as an undisclosed campaign contribution, something Mr Cohen denies.

The lawyer has refused to say what the money was for, but the White House has repeatedly said Mr Trump "vehemently denies" having sex with Ms Daniels.

Mr Trump said the FBI "broke into" Mr Cohen's New York offices, and described it repeatedly as "a disgrace".

He added: "It's an attack on our country, and what we all stand for."

However, in court last week, it emerged that Mr Trump's lawyer has been under investigation by the FBI for several months.

Federal agents are believed to have seized emails, tax documents and business records - including communications between Mr Trump and Mr Cohen - during the raid.

Mr Cohen's legal representative said his client has cooperated with authorities.

Separately yesterday, it was reported that former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal has settled with American Media Inc (AMI), freeing her to discuss her alleged affair with Trump.

Ms McDougal had signed a $150,000 (€122,000) deal with AMI tabloid 'The National Enquirer', which gave them exclusive story rights.

She filed a lawsuit in California last month to be released from the so-called "catch and kill" deal.

Ms McDougal says she had a 10-month affair with Mr Trump, also allegedly starting shortly after the birth of his son.

She previously apologised to First Lady Melania Trump about the relationship in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

The president has denied any affair.

The former model's lawyer, Peter Stris, reportedly described the settlement in an interview as a "total win".

"We got everything we were fighting for - she got out of the contract, gets the life rights back and owes AMI nothing more."

Irish Independent

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