Stormy Daniels' Strategy Is Downright 'Trumpian'

For one thing, she is unapologetic and won't be cowed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2018 1:23 PM CDT
Stormy Daniels' Strategy Is Downright 'Trumpian'
This image released by CBS News shows Stormy Daniels during an interview with Anderson Cooper.   (CBS News/60 Minutes via AP)

One thing seems clear in the wake of the Stormy Daniels interview on 60 Minutes: People were interested. Preliminary ratings suggest the show earned its highest ratings in 10 years, reports Deadline. The overnight Nielsen share of 16.3 translates to more than 20 million households, notes media writer Brian Stelter of CNN. That's more than double the typical 60 Minutes rating and the highest since an interview with the newly elected Barack Obama and wife Michelle in 2008 registered a 17.4 share. In addition to the high ratings, Daniels' names was the top trending phrase on Twitter Sunday evening. Related coverage:

  • President Trump: The president has not responded directly to the interview about his alleged affair with the adult-film star, but he issued a broad, media-bashing tweet Monday morning: "So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!"

  • Cooper's view: Anderson Cooper tells CBS News that he thinks the most newsworthy aspect of his interview with Daniels is probably her report of an alleged physical threat to "leave Trump alone" back in 2011. "If somebody is using intimidation tactics, physical intimidation tactics, it's probably not the first time they've done it," he says. "So that's a potential story I would imagine people would look at."
  • Not saying: Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti on Monday would not divulge any details about his cryptic tweet suggesting the possibility of photographic or video proof of the affair, reports the AP. "We understand the American people want all the information right now, " he said on NBC's Today show, but "it would make no sense for us to play our hand as to this issue and we're not going to do it right now."
  • Familiar tactics: An assessment by James Poniewozik in the New York Times makes the case that Daniels has "out-Trumped Trump." Her most "Trumpian" trait of all? She's unapologetic about everything, including her career as a stripper and adult-film star and the notion that she and Trump used each other for different reasons. She never did get on The Apprentice, but she is on TV now as an "adept apprentice in his media techniques. Maybe even a master."

  • 2 questions: At Vox, Matthew Yglesias says the interview failed to answer two fundamental questions: "How many other sexual partners has Trump paid hush money to?" and "How many foreign intelligence services know about one or more of those women?" He digs into the potential ramifications of both.
  • Advice for Trump: The president has been "wisely and uncharacteristically silent" on Daniels, but if he is forced to answer questions about all this, "he should admit the affair and be done with it," writes law professor Jonathan Turley at the Hill. "The key is to stop the scandal from metastasizing from a civil to a criminal matter."
  • The spanking: Not surprisingly, Twitter seems fixated on Daniels' account of spanking Trump with a magazine, and USA Today rounds up some of the reaction.
  • White evangelicals: Despite this and other stories about Trump's personal life, white evangelicals still strongly support him. Why? A new study suggests it's because even if they don't have faith in Trump's "personal piety," they do still trust him to defend "the country's Christian heritage," per the Washington Post.
(Read more Stormy Daniels stories.)

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