DC Daily: Stormy Daniels claims she was threatened to stay quiet over alleged Trump affair

Posted at 7:44 AM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-26 10:51:57-04

What's happening in the political world:

Stormy Daniels: I was threatened to keep quiet about Trump
-- In her first extended television news interview since the news of her alleged 2006 affair with Donald Trump emerged, adult film actress Stormy Daniels declined to discuss whether she had evidence of the affair and said that she was threatened to stay silent about it.

Risking hefty fines for violating a $130,000 hush agreement, Daniels detailed what she said was the only time she and Trump had sex -- saying she spanked Trump with a magazine and that Trump had compared her to his daughter Ivanka.

She also said she was threatened in Las Vegas in 2011 after attempting to sell her story of the alleged affair.

The "60 Minutes" interview with Anderson Cooper is the most detailed televised account Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has so far offered of the affair she says she had with Trump. She also said Trump told her he and wife Melania, who had just given birth to their son, Barron, slept in separate rooms.

Daniels didn't reveal evidence of the alleged affair with Trump, but continued to hint that she isn't yet revealing all she has.

Asked if she has videos, pictures, emails or text messages that corroborate the affair, Daniels said, "I can't answer that right now."

In 2011, Daniels said she was physically threatened. The threat, she said in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," came weeks after she'd agreed in May 2011 to sell the story of her affair to a magazine for $15,000. The magazine backed out of the agreement after Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen threatened to sue, two former employees of the magazine told "60 Minutes." Daniels said she never received the money. The White House has denied the affair happened.

Daniels said she was in a parking lot preparing to go into a fitness class, and was pulling her infant daughter's car seat and diaper bag out of her vehicle.

"And a guy walked up on me and said to me, 'Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,'" Daniels said. "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."

Asked if she took it as a direct threat, Daniels said: "Absolutely."

"I was rattled," she said. "I remember going into the workout class. And my hands are shaking so much, I was afraid I was going to drop her."

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Trump remains silent on Daniels interview
-- The president has been known to react to various stories and interviews on his Twitter account. However, on Sunday night, his timeline remained quiet.

As porn star Stormy Daniels spoke out on "60 Minutes," Trump offered no immediate comment or reaction to her claims. The White House has previously denied a Trump-Daniels affair occurred.

On Monday morning, Trump finally tweeted and many are wondering if his remarks were in reference to the bombshell interview.

He said: "So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!"

U.S., China in talks to try to avoid trade war
-- The United States and China are acting tough over trade, but they're also busy talking to try to stop the situation spiraling out of control.

President Trump ramped up tensions last week by ordering tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese goods just weeks after announcing of sanctions on steel and aluminum imports. Beijing has responded with plans to target $3 billion worth of US products and warnings that it's ready to inflict more pain.

The moves have fueled fears that the situation could escalate into a full-blown trade war between the world's two largest economies. But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that he's been talking to Chinese officials in an effort to prevent that.

"We're not afraid of a trade war, but that's not our objective," he said in an interview on Fox News.

"We are going to proceed with our tariffs ... we're also working on investment restrictions," Mnuchin said. "But we are simultaneously having negotiations with the Chinese to see if we can reach an agreement."

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NYT: Justice Department renews effort for legal mandate to unlock phones
-- Federal investigators are pushing for measures that would require tech companies to grant them access to encrypted data in criminal cases, according to a New York Times report.

The FBI and Justice Department have reportedly enlisted the help of security experts, arguing they could find ways to technically and legally bypass a device's safety features without compromising its security.

For years, the federal government and the tech industry have sparred over encryption in criminal cases.

Federal agencies have said they are facing a "going dark" problem -- "eroding investigators' ability to carry out wiretap orders and search warrants," writes the Times -- because they cannot bypass devices' security measures. Investigators have argued that modern encryption technologies, as well as the rise of privacy and cyber security concerns, have hampered or completed undermined some criminal investigations.

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CNN reports compiled by 10News