Trump Livid Over Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Handling of Stormy Daniels
Source: Sanders ‘Gave the Stormy Daniels Story Steroids’
Few things truly put the chaos of Donald Trump’s administration into perspective better than the Stormy Daniels affair. If any other president was accused of carrying on an extramarital affair with an adult movie star — while his new (and third) wife was home nursing his infant son — it would have broken the internet and condensed the mainstream news cycles into a 24/7 binge of “Stormy TV”. But for a presidency that has never truly found it’s footing, and one that has had to deal with a nonstop barrage of criminal investigations, indictments, failed legislative proposals, claims of racism, and other sex scandals — the Daniels story has consistently struggled for oxygen since the Wall Street Journal first reported in January that she was paid a six-figure sum to keep silent about a series of sexual encounters with the then-Apprentice host.
But when you’re suffocating, there are only two true actions you can take: surrender and die, or find your way to air. And thanks to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Stormy Daniels adventure is now breathing easy. Needless to say, the president is pissed.
Sanders twice inadvertently sold Trump down the river during her Wednesday press briefing. When asked by CNN’s Jeff Zeleny if her boss was aware that his attorney, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $130,000 to remain silent about the alleged 2006 affair, Sanders did not offer an explicit denial. Instead, she responded: “Not that I’m aware of.”
And in the same conversation, she confirmed legal proceedings between the two parties by telling Zeleny:
“This case has already been won in arbitration, and anything beyond that, I would refer you to the president’s outside counsel.”
It was a remark that gave legitimacy to Daniels’ claims, and it was remark that was mocked quickly by Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti:
Stormy Daniels lawyer, @MichaelAvenatti responds to me re Sanders' statement Trump won at arbitration: “yeah and he also won the popular vote.”
— jimrutenberg (@jimrutenberg) March 7, 2018
But clever quips aside, the bleep-storm was already underway.
Trump is ‘Very Unhappy”
White House sources spoke to CNN’s Jim Acosta this morning and confirmed that Trump was not pleased with Sanders’ performance.
From @Acosta: A source close to White House says Trump is upset with @PressSec Sarah Sanders over her handling of Stormy Daniels questions yesterday. “POTUS is very unhappy,” the source said. “Sarah gave the Stormy Daniels storyline steroids yesterday,” the source added.
— David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) March 8, 2018
Sanders’ handling (or, mishandling, from Trump’s perspective) all but ended any dwindling chance that the White House may have had to deny the relationship. As Avenatti said in a statement after the press conference:
“President Trump hasn’t won anything relating to Ms. Clifford. First of all, it does not appear as if he was even a party to the arbitration Ms. Sanders is referring to. How can you win something you’re not even a part of? Secondly, claiming that Mr. Trump ‘won’ at arbitration when there has been no hearing, no notice to Ms. Clifford, no opportunity given to her to respond, and no decision on the merits, is completely bogus.”
In a White House that has been hemorrhaging staff due to arrests, policy disagreements, abusive relationships and a perceived lack of loyalty, it will be interesting to see if Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the next in line to take a fall for this crumbling administration.
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Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)