CBS News President David Rhodes on Stormy Daniels' '60 Minutes' Interview
Anderson Cooper last week interviewed the porn star who claims to have had an affair with President Trump, but CBS has not yet aired the interview.
CBS will air its 60 Minutes interview with porn star Stormy Daniels, CBS News president David Rhodes confirmed Tuesday.
Rhodes, however, would not confirm when the interview would air.
The porn actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had an affair with Donald Trump and was paid $130,000 shortly before Election Day 2016 in exchange for her promise to remain silent.
Clifford has offered to give back the $130,000 fee. A letter from her lawyer Michael Avenatti to Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Monday offered to put the money into an account of the president’s choosing by Friday. It gives Trump until noon ET on Tuesday (March 13) to accept the offer.
Speaking at the INTV conference in Jerusalem Tuesday with Israeli TV anchor Yonit Levi, Rhodes would not confirm that CBS would air the 60 Minutes interview this coming Sunday. "[It will air on] a coming Sunday; you'll have to watch them all," he said. "The only reason it hasn't run is that there is still a lot of journalism left to do," he added, saying that 60 Minutes was still checking documents and other materials provided by Clifford during the interview.
"I haven't seen the interview," Rhodes said. "It has been reported there will be an injunction to prevent it from running. I haven't seen such an injunction, and I don't know what the basis of such an injunction would be."
Rhodes would not be drawn to comment on the content of the interview but did say he "wasn't sure" if its airing would complicate the president's position: "It's hard to know. So many controversies have not necessarily broken the way one may have expected."
The porn star spoke with 60 Minutes contributor Anderson Cooper late last week. Over the weekend, her lawyer and a lawyer for President Trump traded public jabs over her right to speak. Earlier, an arbitrator reaffirmed that Clifford's nondisclosure agreement with Trump, tied to the $130,000 payment to Clifford from Trump's personal attorney Cohen, was binding and issued a temporary restraining order. Clifford flouted the restraining order and sued Trump last week, contending that the nondisclosure agreement should be voided because Trump never signed it.
Numerous media outlets have reported that Trump's lawyers are considering legal action against CBS to stop 60 Minutes from airing the interview. But so far, CBS has not reported receiving notice of any legal action related to the Clifford interview. Producers at 60 Minutes are preparing the segment, a process that often includes a legal review and fact-checking.
Any move to block the 60 Minutes interview could lead to a major First Amendment standoff. The assessment of legal experts contacted by The Washington Post was that it was too late for Trump to disrupt the telecast. Blocking the airing of an interview that has already been given would amount to a "prior restraint" of speech, something the American legal system almost never allows.
It should be noted that Trump and his lawyers have often threatened litigation in the past without following through. Most recently, one of Trump's attorneys sent threatening letters to the publisher and author of Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury, but did not move to block the book's release.