Arguably the leader of the free world and certainly the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump now faces an alleged affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels. In a recent 60 Minutes segment, Stormy recounts in excruciating and humiliating detail her version of their affair. She describes spanking him with a rolled up Trump Magazine; she describes how Trump said she “reminds him of my daughter;” she describes feeling no attraction towards him as they had sex; she describes rejecting his advances after watching four hours of Shark Week; she describes being physically threatened by a goon to “leave Trump alone” and “forget the story.”
Trump, notably, hasn’t responded to Stormy’s allegations on Twitter (where he’s notoriously outspoken). In fact, the President’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, initiated arbitration proceedings against Stormy only for violating her NDA (non-disclosure agreement) — not for libel or defamation. Only the current (but subject to change) White House Press Secretary has denied the affair on Trump’s behalf. Trump’s silence regarding Stormy starkly juxtaposes with his typically unabashed spirit.
Unfortunately, the fact that this story even exists speaks to the dire status of our current political climate. Can anyone honestly argue that this scandal is in the least bit surprising? If anyone thought that Donald Trump was any sort of moral exemplar during the campaign, they were likely not paying close attention. Trump’s innumerable flaws and scandals, however, seem to blunt the effect of any particular one.
Perhaps Stormy’s case is different.
The Stormy Daniels’ scandal perfectly suits our reality TV star President. Infused with sex, money, crime, broken promises, and threats of violence, the affair reads more like a reality TV show than a presidential controversy. Filled with Clickbait, FAKE NEWS, and eye-catching headlines, perhaps Stormy’s more Hollywood-esque controversy will linger in headlines longer than Trump’s countless other scandals. Stormy’s affair may not be Trump’s most egregious scandal, but it’s certainly his most fitting and entertaining one: Trumpian times call for Trumpian measures.
Ultimately, Trump’s porn star affair just further degrades the Office of the Presidency, embarrassing the US internally and internationally. Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to methodically investigate the possible crimes of the President and his affiliates. As the Mueller investigation escalates, any truth behind the Trump/Russia collusion accusations seems more likely to emerge. Stormy Daniels may have captivated the public’s attention, but Robert Mueller is bringing the real storm to the White House.