GRAB THEM BY THE MONEY

Stormy Daniels shared a bed with Donald Trump for one night in 2006. He has always denied it, but his lawyer allegedly paid and threatened Daniels to keep her mouth shut. Now she’s back – and she’s out for blood.

In 2006, porn star Stormy Daniels met Trump at a golf tournament. He invited her over for dinner at his private cabin, where he opened the door in his pajama pants. When she returned from the toilet, he was waiting for her on the bed. Although she was not attracted to him, she admits she was fascinated by him. She also hoped it would get her a role on Trump’s show The Apprentice. The copulation occurred only once and happened in mutual consent. Daniels made a point of emphasizing that she was “not a victim” in having sex with the American president. At the time, Melania Trump was busy nursing hers and Donald’s newborn son Barron.

In 2017, a month before Trump was voted into office, his lawyer Michael Cohen made Daniels sign a contract to keep her quiet about the affair. Unnecessary really, because she was already feared into silence. In Vegas, 2011, a man walked up to her and her baby daughter and told her to keep her mouth shut about the situation. “Forget the whole story,” he said. “That’s a beautiful girl you got there. It would be a shame if something happened to her mother.”

Now, Daniels is speaking up. In an interview on 60 Minutes she tells her story, and how she will not be silent again.

Scantrump34
Drawing by Saïda Ragas

Of all times
 This is not the first story about a president’s adultery. Jefferson, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Clinton – Trump falls right in line with some of his predecessors. Still, this in the case that might bring him down. The New York Times calls it a “national event” and a “quintessential moment of the Trump presidency”. In a time where #metoo is trending and Trump is still comfortably sitting on his throne despite the infamous “grab them by the pussy”-utterance, a one-night-stand with a sex worker might finish his career. Not because his people won’t have it: they’ve dealt with and supported him through worse things before. No, it won’t be about the sex – it will be about the money. In filings with the Justice Department and Federal Election Commission, watchdog groups have said the payment amount may have exceeded campaign-contribution limits and violated U.S. law.

Fire with fire
A similar affair occurred with Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims to have found God afterwards. In a world where women who accuse powerful men are often discredited, people are shamed into being quiet. However, Daniels owned her story and her reputation. She’s not ashamed of her sex life and talks freely about the financial incentive of her opening up. She was unapologetic about it. Direct and open, without a hint of shame. Daniels uses Trumps favorite rhetoric weapons against him and, if his Twitter silence is any indication, Trump is utterly tongue-tied.

Trump has proven not to be bothered by morale of any sorts. So we fight fire with fire. Unaccountability with a lack of shame. We beat Trump at his own game and grab him right where it hurts – by the money.

Text: Rosemarie van der Tol
Image: Saïda Ragas

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