There were few questions Stephanie Gregory Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, passed on answering when she sat down for an interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS’ 60 Minutes, which aired Sunday.
The adult film star gave more insight into an alleged affair with Donald Trump (the president has denied the allegation) that she says took place in 2006, when he was the host of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.
Clifford told Cooper she realized she was breaking a non-disclosure agreement she signed in return for a payment of $130,000 (she claims she felt pressured to sign) from Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen just before the 2016 presidential election, but it was necessary for her to speak out now.
“Because people are just saying whatever they wanted to say about me, I was perfectly fine saying nothing at all, but I’m not OK with being made out to be a liar, or people thinking that I did this for money and people are like, “Oh, you’re an opportunist,'” Clifford said on 60 Minutes, according to a transcript of the interview.
She made it clear early in the interview that she was not an unwilling victim.
“They’re trying to like, oh, you know, Stormy Daniels comes out #MeToo,” she said. “This is not a #MeToo. I was not a victim. I’ve never said I was a victim. I think trying to use me to further someone else’s agenda does horrible damage to people who are true victims.”
Clifford explained that Trump invited her to his hotel room in July 2006 after they met at a celebrity golf tournament. She said Trump talked mostly about himself, asking her if she had seen his latest magazine cover.
“And I said, you know, ‘Give me that,’ and I just remember him going, ‘You wouldn’t,'” she said. “And so he did, and I was like, ‘Turn around, drop ’em.'”
Clifford claims she spanked Trump with the magazine.
“He was like, ‘Wow, you—you are special. You remind me of my daughter,'” she said. “He was like, ‘You’re smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you.'”
Not long after, they had unprotected sex, Clifford told Cooper.
“He said that it was great, he had—a great evening, and it was nothing like he expected, that I really surprised him, that a lot of people must underestimate me—that he hoped that I would be willing to see him again and that we would discuss the things we had talked about earlier in the evening,” she said.
She also made it clear she was in no way attracted to Trump.
Clifford said Trump told her not to worry about his wife, Melania, who’d just given birth to their son.
“I asked. And he brushed it aside, said, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, you know, don’t worry about that. We don’t even—we have separate rooms and stuff,'” she recalled.
Clifford also claimed Trump called her often afterward and said he would try and get her on Celebrity Apprentice. And while they would be alone together again in Los Angeles, they had sex only once, she told Cooper.
As for any text messages or photos involving Trump she may or may not possess, Clifford said she could not comment on the advice of her lawyer, Michael Avenatti.
On Thursday, Avenatti tweeted an image of what appeared to be a CD or DVD along with, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is this worth???? #60minutes #pleasedenyit #basta.”
Avenatti appeared Monday on Today, and when again asked about the ominous picture, he said, “I’m not playing games. There will be more evidence.”
Clifford said she was previously threatened by a man she did not know while in Las Vegas to not talk about the alleged affair with the media.
“There can be no question where this threat came from. It could only have come from one place,” Avenatti tweeted as the interview aired. While on Today, he once again said they did not know the identity of the alleged perpetrator.
Clifford and Avenatti have filed a lawsuit in an effort to invalidate the NDA, arguing Trump never signed the document.
Trevor Potter, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission appointed by President George H.W. Bush, said the payment is problematic for the president.
“It’s a $130,000 in-kind contribution by Cohen to the Trump campaign, which is about $126,500 above what he’s allowed to give,” Potter told Cooper. “And if he does this on behalf of his client, the candidate, that is a coordinated, illegal, in-kind contribution by Cohen for the purpose of influencing the election, of benefiting the candidate by keeping this secret.”
Following the interview, Avenatti responded via Twitter to those complaining it wasn’t salacious enough. “Any claim that ‘There was nothing new other than the details of the threat’ is not only false but is also similar to asking ‘Other than the short interruption Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play?'”
He went even further while on Today.
“She [Daniels] was prepared to discuss intimate details relating to Mr. Trump,” Avenatti said. “She can describe his genitalia. She can describe various conversations that they had that leave no doubt as to whether this woman is telling the truth.”
March 26, 6:30 a.m.: Updated with additional comments from Avenatti.