Stormy Daniels's offer to return the $130,000 she received in a nondisclosure agreement about President Trump has led to a new wave of coverage of their alleged affair. In one new twist, authorities in Texas are investigating whether the notary public who authorized the 2016 agreement did so properly, reports the Dallas Morning News. Erica Jackson didn't sign or date the document, and "she notarized a blank signature line," says a fellow notary who first tweeted about the issue. Daniels' attorney says it's the missing signature of Trump (or of "David Dennison," his alleged alias in the deal) that's the real problem. It's not clear just how big of a deal the notary issue is (Jackson might lose her certification), but it's "the latest in a string of curiosities surrounding the murky deal," per the Morning News. Related:
- Frequent calls: Fashion photographer Keith Munyan, a friend of Daniels, tells the Daily Beast that Trump would call Daniels "all the time" back around 2006, and Munyan sometimes listened in on speakerphone. They had "very professional conversations" about her business goals, and Trump once offered Daniels a spot on the The Apprentice, says Munyan. He recalls that Daniels considered Trump a "very brilliant man," but he adds that Trump "can talk about nothing for hours."
- That 60 Minutes interview: Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, taped an interview with Anderson Cooper that Trump's legal team is reportedly trying to block from airing. However, CBS News chief David Rhodes says the reason it hasn't aired yet isn't because of any legal challenge ("I haven't seen such an injunction, and I can't imagine what the basis for that would be"), but because "there's still a lot of journalistic work to do," per Variety.
- Slim chance: An analysis at the Washington Post, drawing on the expertise of a defamation lawyer, asserts that Trump is "probably powerless" to keep the interview from airing.
- Horses: A Rolling Stone profile on Clifford, aka Daniels, has a surprising nugget about her: She's a nationally ranked equestrian.
- The seriousness: The president's supporters say this is a meaningless, salacious witch hunt, but Matthew Yglesias at Vox writes that "it's time for Washington to stop tittering in embarrassment and recognize that there is a serious scandal here." One component of that: whether the payment to Daniels ran afoul of campaign finance laws.
- The not-so-seriousness: Stephen Colbert has some thoughts and fears.
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