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Stormy Daniels Details Alleged Affair with Trump in 60 Minutes. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired March 26, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, March 26, 6 a.m. here in New York. Here's our starting line.
Adult film star Stormy Daniels breaking her silence about her alleged affair with President Trump in her first on-camera interview. Daniels telling Anderson Cooper on "60 Minutes" she was threatened in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 to keep quiet, and and she claims she felt pressured into signing those documents denying their relationship.
And as this scandal consumes headlines, there's more reported flux in the White House. A source tells CNN that President Trump is getting ready to fire his embattled V.A. secretary, David Shulkin. And Chris Ruddy, a close ally of Mr. Trump's, says the president will likely make even more personnel changes soon.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump's legal team struggling to find solid ground. Joe diGenova, you may have heard, the FOX News contributor who was going to come on and be part of the team. He had a little bit of a colored background, a deep-state conspiracy theorist. He is not now going to be part of Trump's team. The news coming three days after John Dowd, Trump's top attorney handling the Russian inquiry, resigned amid strategy disputes with the president.
And powerful "March for Our Lives" rallies taking place across the country this weekend, students calling for tighter gun control, saying enough is enough.
But for one former lawmaker facing backlash after making a shocking comment about how the students should handle school shootings.
We've got it all covered. Let's start with CNN's Sara Sidner, in L.A. with our top story -- Sara.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, we don't know if the president actually watched the "60 Minutes" interview. He was asked by reporters but did not respond. What we do know is that he did dine with his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, when he was in Mar-a-Lago on Saturday. Michael Cohen being in the middle of this controversy.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SIDNER (voice-over): Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels, breaking her silence to "60 Minutes" about her alleged affair with Donald Trump and the aftermath.
DANIELS: He's like, "Wow, you -- you are special. You remind me of my daughter."
SIDNER: Daniels telling Anderson Cooper that that was what Trump told her when they met for the first time in 2006. She says their only sexual encounter happened afterwards in his Tahoe Resort hotel room.
DANIELS: He's like, "Have you seen my new magazine?"
COOPER: He was showing you his own picture on the cover of a magazine?
DANIELS: Right. And I said, like, "Does this normally work for you?"
And I was like, someone should take that magazine and spank you with it." And I said, you know, "Give me that."
I just remember, like, "You wouldn't."
"Hand it over." So he did. I was like, "Turn around, drop them."
COOPER: You told Donald Trump to turn around and take off his pants?
COOPER: And did he?
SIDNER: Eventually, the joking stopped, and she says she and Trump had sex for the first and only time in their relationship. The White House has denied the affair.
COOPER: Did you want to have sex with him?
DANIELS: No. But I didn't -- I didn't say no. I'm not a victim. I'm not --
COOPER: It was entirely consensual?
DANIELS: Oh, yes. Yes.
COOPER: You work in an industry where condom use is an issue. Did you use a condom?
COOPER: Melania Thump had recently given birth to his son just a few months before. Did he mention his wife or child at all in this?
DANIELS: I asked, and he brushed it aside and said, "Oh, yes, yes. You know, don't worry about that. We don't even -- we have separate rooms and stuff."
SIDNER: About four years after the relationship ended, Clifford talked about the alleged affair to the sister company of "InTouch Magazine." She was offered $15,000 for the story, but she says she never collected. Clifford says the article didn't initially publish. Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, reportedly threatened to sue the magazine.
A few weeks after she did that interview, Clifford says she was personally threatened in Las Vegas.
DANIELS: I was in a parking lot going to a fitness class with my infant daughter. And a guy walked up on me and said to me, "Leave Trump alone. Forget the story." And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, "That's a beautiful little girl. It would be a shame if something happened to her mom."
SIDNER: Daniels did not file a police report about the alleged threat, saying she was too afraid. Cohen's attorney now accusing Clifford of defamation and demanding a retraction in a letter immediately following the "60 Minutes" interview, insisting Cohen "had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any such person or incident and does not even believe that such a person exists or that such incident ever occurred."
Cohen brokered a confidentiality agreement with Clifford days before the presidential election, paying her $130,000 to keep quiet, although Clifford says she wanted to tell her story.
COOPER: Was it hush money to stay silent?
DANIELS: Yes. The story was coming out again. I was concerned for my family and their safety.
COOPER: I think some people watching this are going to doubt that you entered into this negotiation, because you feared for your safety. They're going to think that you saw an opportunity.
[06:05:07] DANIELS: I think the fact that I didn't even negotiate, I just quickly said yes to this very, you know, strict contract and what most people will agree with me extremely low number is all the proof I need.
SIDNER: But in 2018, Clifford signed two letters unequivocally denying the affair. One was sent by Cohen. The other by Daniels' former manager, Gina Rodriguez, saying, "I am not denying this affair because of hush money. I am denying it because it never happened."
Clifford telling Cooper she was pressured by her manager and attorney at the time, a claim her former lawyer denies.
COOPER: So you signed and released a statement that said, "I'm not denying this affair because I was paid in hush money. I'm denying it because it never happened." That's a lie?
DANIELS: Yes. COOPER: If it was untruthful, why did you sign it?
DANIELS: Because they made it sound like I had no choice.
COOPER: No one was putting a gun to your head?
DANIELS: Not physical violence, no.
COOPER: You thought that there would be some legal repercussions if you didn't sign it?
DANIELS: As a matter of fact, the exact sentence was "They can make your life hell in many different ways."
COOPER: "They" being?
DANIELS: I'm not exactly sure who "they" were. I believed it to be Michael Cohen.
SIDNER: Now, ahead of the interview, Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels's attorney said that there is more evidence that will not be in the "60 Minutes" story, though he would not say what that was.
He tweeted out, talking about a CD. There was a picture of it, saying there's many things on this CD here, that a picture is worth a thousand words. But we still don't know what is on that CD or DVD, if that's what it is.
CUOMO: All right. Always the tease. Always the tease. Let's bring in CNN political analyst John Avlon and CNN legal analyst Laura Coates.
My concerns about this go largely to any legal implications what this means in terms of a cover-up. But I would be remiss if I -- if I didn't talk about it. And by "remiss," I mean --
CAMEROTA: Me (ph).
CUOMO: -- if we didn't talk about what you took from this and what the potential exposure is, politically and legally, for Trump. So what did you see in terms of what she said and the impact?
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think it's really about the money in greater detail. It's about the intimidation. That allegation is salacious. But then there's the creep factor of a lot of the allegations that will dominate water cooler conversation there.
There's the detail about allegedly being spanked by his own magazine. That's just weird, not only unpresidential.
Referencing himself as, you know, "Oh, you're very special. You remind me of my daughter. That's well outside the realms of anything resembling normal. And so those details will stick, but the more legal indication that Trump (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on, is the jeopardy that Michael Cohen could be in, potentially.
CAMEROTA: I didn't know we were going to immediately go to the weird.
AVLON: I just thought I'd go weird.
CAMEROTA: Go weird or go home.
CUOMO: Got to get it out of the way.
CAMEROTA: Then let's do that. So let's show how often, Laura, apparently, Donald Trump compares his sexual conquest to his daughter. This has come up now twice. Let me play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN MCDOUGAL, ALLEGES AFFAIR WITH TRUMP: You know, he -- he's very proud of Ivanka, as he should be. I mean, she's a brilliant woman. She's beautiful. She's -- you know, that's his daughter, and he should be proud of her. He said I was beautiful like her and, you know, "You're a smart girl." And there wasn't a lot of comparing, but there was some. I heard a lot about her.
DANIELS: He's like, "Wow, you -- you are special. You remind me of my daughter." You know? He's like, "You're smart and beautiful and a woman to be reckoned with. And I like you. I like you."
Now to psychologist Laura Coates.
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, my God, please. You know, I'm someone's daughter. But this would not happen in most people's homes, most healthy people's homes, as a comparison, constantly you made. It's a creep factor. It's one that makes you want to take a shower. But also, it's odd because it's so consistent. And that's what gives it credibility.
Because remember, although Stormy Daniels was aired last night, she was interviewed before Karen McDougal. So she didn't watch Karen McDougal and say, "Oh, I'm going to say the same thing to try to buttress my complaints here or my claims here." It was two separate women who around the time allegedly met with him at that golf resort and said the same thing. That makes you say, "Well, maybe there's credibility in other areas of the story," aside from the ones you don't really want to have the conversations about.
CAMEROTA: That's interesting.
CUOMO: And look, I mean, at the end of the day, all of this stuff you say is water cooler talk. It's never been an area of concern for me, because there's such bigger things to worry about.
But here's the jam he's in now. Is that if there can be established a pattern of tactics that Trump used to keep people quiet, even though it would wind up contradicting my own point that this was in his private life, if you're allowed to pay people not to talk about things that are noncriminal in nature. But if there is a pattern, an that's what seemed to be teased out in
this "60 Minutes" story, that does he have a way of doing things when it comes to women in his life, that could have longer legs.
[06:10:04] AVLON: It could have longer legs. It will have longer legs. And I think the additional factor is the fact that the payoff occurs within days of the election. That makes it different than simply paying off somebody.
CUOMO: but if you hang your hat on that, not only do I think you have bad facts in the analysis of whether or not it's an FEC violation. Because you have to show -- you know, if Michael Cohen says, "I didn't mean it as a contribution and, you know, you can't show otherwise," I think you have to say --
AVLON: I totally disagree with you on that. Look, Trevor Potter, former head of the FEC, spoke last night about this pretty eloquently. If this alleged relationship occurred in, what, '06, '07 -- and then magically --
CUOMO: They tried to do it with John Edwards, and they lost that case.
AVLON: Right. Right, but magically, ten years later, days before a presidential election, Michael Cohen decides he needs to really -- there's urgency in paying off the porn star. That's not an accident. That's not a coincidence.
CUOMO: That's when her counsel -- if that's when the matter came up to him. I'm just saying, this is the benefit of the reckoning of the facts. And please, you know, tell me what I'm missing. Is if that's what he finds out. Somebody calls him and says, "I want comment." Or the lawyer comes to him. It depends of whose version of this story you want to believe. That's when it was made known to him to have to act or not act. That's the timing.
CAMEROTA: Luckily, we have a federal prosecutor, former federal prosecutor here on set. Thank goodness. What do you think the legal ramifications are here?
COATES: Well, you know --
CUOMO: On that issue first. There are other ones.
COATES: Right. Certainly. It's a much stronger case, honestly, in terms of an FEC violation for Michael Cohen and Donald Trump than it was for John Edwards. You remember, there was more of an attenuated statement before he was going to become the DNC nominee and then, eventually, the president of the United States. This person is 11 days before.
And what you had in the teasing on (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is that the attorney for Stormy Daniels has been saying that, "Listen, it was intended to be a campaign contribution to silence us to have a benefit for the campaign." But that never flushed out last night in the interview. CUOMO: No.
COATES: No one ever mentioned it. It wasn't backed up.
COATES: Hasn't backed up since. In fact --
CUOMO: He wasn't the lawyer at the time.
CUOMO: Avenatti is new. And the guy who was the lawyer at the time, Davidson, put out this kind of cryptic message last night, saying, "I can't talk about this unless she waives privilege, but this is not my reckoning of how this happened."
COATES: And that's important, because it should have been backed up. It was all about intent. If you actually have am FEC violation or somebody was intending to do so, given the John Edwards scandal that came with a jury saying, "We're going to acquit on that" on that point, and have a hung jury and everything else, you've got to back it up. It wasn't backed up yet. Maybe they're holding it for the lawsuit.
CUOMO: That would just be a fine anyway. That's why I'm saying, these other things, like the threat in the parking lot and what Ronan Farrow was trying to get at in his reporting. I think that that's the legs that I'm talking about.
AVLON: And if you look at the NDA, too, it's the specificity of the things that are -- people are supposed to hand over, or not every deal with, any recordings, texts, videotapes. Now, that's what Avenatti is trying to play off, right? That paragraph, which seems like boiler plate. Which raises the question of how much it's been used before.
CAMEROTA: But he's suggesting they have those things.
AVLON: Yes, he is.
CAMEROTA: They have those things.
CUOMO: Then she didn't comply with their own deal. That she said --
AVLON: It would imply that. But there's something else here, too. And this is where I think some -- some Trump defenders may have a point. We found out last night this was only one time they were together, even though there was a larger courtship and conversation about joining "Celebrity Apprentice." If he is, indeed, sharing images and things like that in the context of a one-time deal, that indicates a larger pattern, a larger problem. In the case of the alleged eight-month relationship with the "Playboy" Playmate, that may create more of a content for this.
But if it's a boilerplate for an NDA, that's the problem.
CAMEROTA: So legally speaking, what are the problems that you see?
COATES: Well, the NDA, the biggest problem with that. Come on, that whole idea that not being signed as the death toll for it is ridiculous. A lot of contracts can not be signed. And implied contract. You took the money. You acted for 18 months as if it was existing. It doesn't make sense --
CAMEROTA: She has to comply with the NDA, even though he didn't sign it? She's breaking the NDA?
CUOMO: You could argue it wasn't between him, Trump and her. It was between Essential Consultings --
CUOMO: -- and her, and he was a third-party beneficiary.
COATES: And that makes all the difference. But also, the biggest flaw in the NDA is the liquidated damages caused.
COATES: The one that says $1 million per breach. Now, having that sort of clause says they can't calculate right now what the damage would be if he were to lose a presidential election.
Let's estimate what it would be. Let's say it's a million dollars. Fine. The court would say, "Well, that might be right." I mean, ask Hillary Clinton what happened when Comey spoke. You can maybe value that. But you think about the issue of then say million per breach. That's a penalty. In the court, we look at that and say, $20 million when the news is already out there. There's no real value lost on disclosure No. 4, versus --
CAMEROTA: But what I'm hearing you say is that she is in more legal jeopardy than Donald Trump is?
COATES: At this point in time, she is. Because the thing about Michael Cohen is a statement about it actually existing was not the thing that the NDA said you couldn't talk about. That's part of it.
But the biggest disclosure is, one, if this CD, in the photograph Michael Avenatti says that she kept something which she was supposed to hand over, in the NDA, that's a violation. If he comes, out which she did, and attached the NDA in all of its terms to a complaint, that's a problem, as well. It's a much bigger issue for her than it ever was outside FEC violations.
CAMEROTA: Fascinating. Laura Coates, John Avlon, thank you both very much.
[06:15:06] CUOMO: All right. So next hour on NEW DAY we're going to talk with Stormy Daniels's lawyer, Michael Avenatti. He's been hyping this interview for weeks. What does he think delivered last night?
CAMEROTA: OK. And silence thus far from President Trump, before and after the Stormy Daniels interview. So what CNN is learning about how the president is handling this scandal. Next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, are you going to watch "60 Minutes"?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about David Shulkin? Does he still have your confidence?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Stormy Daniels a liar, sir?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: He can't be liking that. President Trump, he likes to respond, as we all know. President Trump was ignoring the reporters' questions about whether he would watch the "60 Minutes" interview with Stormy Daniels. And while we do not know if the president watched, a source tells CNN the president has been complaining about what he perceives is the wall-to-wall coverage about these allegations, and he is asking the advisers about how he should handle responding to these accusations.
So we're back with John Avlon. And joining us is CNN political analyst Karoun Demirjian. Great to see both of you.
So Karoun, we have CNN reporting that he is talking to advisors, and we do know that Chris Ruddy, a friend of his and one of his confidants, said on Saturday that he has spoken to the president. Here is what Chris Ruddy said about how President Trump is feeling about these Stormy Daniels allegations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[06:20:08] CHRIS RUDDY, CEO, NEWSMAX MEDIA: Well, you know, I can't tell you everything he's thinking. I can only tell you what he told me. He said he thought that much of the Stormy Daniels stuff was a political hoax. Again, those were his words.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: So Karoun, your thoughts on all this?
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, it's interesting that we haven't actually seen the president come out directly and call Stormy Daniels a liar or anything like that. We're seeing that message kind of being delivered through friends like this.
And the president has actually been very disciplined about not reacting on Twitter to that interview last night, reacting on Twitter, and when other parts of the story have come out.
So he seems to be at least listening to his advisers on this one in ways that he doesn't when it comes to many other things that have, you know, happened during his presidency that affect him. And that suggests that there is a reason he's keeping quiet. And this is all being dragged now into courts again and these legal questions about who is more at fault. As Trump gets more involved in kind of -- in saying she's not telling the truth, then maybe Stormy Daniels would say now there's potential defamation to bring up. Because she's saying very publicly that she's telling the truth.
So he's listening to the advisers apparently. And I'm sure they're telling him to just, you know, keep his own counsel.
CUOMO: But look, politically, this is very unusual. He's been counseled plenty not to say things about certain people, and he does anyway, even when there is potential legal exposure, in a lot of cases where he was not as on solid footing as he is with Stormy Daniels. So what do you think is going on here?
AVLON: I think what's going on here is that we forget this has a deep personal impact that goes to home. Literally. There's Melania; there's the first lady. And these allegations that are out there all are surrounding the time when they're newly married, she's pregnant with their son Barron, or immediately in the aftermath.
CUOMO: Much more aggressive with the women who came out during the campaign with the harassment allegations.
CUOMO: And the timing there might have been a little bit sensitive, and those had major implications, especially at the time. And he was very aggressive. Not now.
AVLON: They sure do. But in this case, you've got two women coming forward with really specific allegations. And that, it hits close to home. So not only is he unusually listening to lawyers, which he has a pattern of doing sometimes in the past, with real dollar payday stakes. But I think this is also about the impact at home.
CAMEROTA: Speaking of which, here is what the women say about the conversations they had with Donald Trump about his wife, Melania. So listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIELS: I felt intimidated and, honestly, bullied. And I didn't know what to do. And so I signed it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Also a relevant aspect.
CAMEROTA: Basically, what they both -- the woman who's the "Playboy" Playmate said as well as Stormy Daniels last night, he did make sort of passing reference to his wife, basically, "Yes, yes, don't worry about that. We have separate rooms and stuff like that," Karoun, is what they said that, you know -- how he depicted his marriage.
But what I want to ask you about is that all of this stuff, politically speaking, in terms of the damage, this isn't as bad as the "Access Hollywood" tape. These are consensual affairs. These aren't, like, sexual assault. So politically speaking, what's the fallout?
DEMIRJIAN: Well, politically speaking, it depends. Right? I mean, so the "Access Hollywood" tape definitely shocked people before the election. It didn't cost him the presidency. These stories, though, are kind of hanging on for -- for much longer. There are questions about whether there are FEC violations involving the Stormy Daniels one. Granted, that's probably not going to turn voters away from him, come the next time he's up for election.
But the more these stories hang around, the more they are kind of picked apart. And the details of them seem to be coming out in drip, drip, drip. The more they stay in the headlines and on the front of the television screens, and that could affect the president but also just kind of raise the uncomfortableness of the story line for many, especially of the women who supported him.
And when you keep having these come out. When the access Hollywood tape and the women who came out before the election are not the whole story, that's an awkward position for the president to be in with a lot of his supporters.
AVLON: Yes, I think there are two things here. First of all, this is a scandal that's going to capture attention on places that financial, or even Russian attention, might not resonate. That's a factor.
Second thing is, not only is 52 percent of the white women vote in 2016 that he won but the 83 percent of evangelicals he won, which is -- which is, you know, higher than George W. Bush won. That is a stunning fact, given the "Access Hollywood" tape and all that information, this stuff compounds it. It makes it more difficult for evangelicals to say, if their faith informs their politics, than what Bill Clinton did was a sin. But what Donald Trump did was all right.
So that's why I think it has a political implication that will increase.
CUOMO: You can forgive a sign. What you seem to not be able to forgive is not being right on abortion. You know, if you have the wrong position on that politically, it doesn't matter how much money you're putting in the poor box at church. They're going to have a problem with you. And he's checking the right boxes for them in terms of policy.
Look, we all know that Donald Trump's character was baked in when -- when people voted for him or didn't. I don't think that's the risk here. I think the risk is, one, potential perjury traps.
[06:25:08] And I don't mean -- trap would be on him. You know, I don't trick you into lying. You know, you either want to tell the truth or you don't. But that's what got Clinton. That is a real problem for him going forward. We'll see how he handles it.
CAMEROTA: Karoun Demirjian, John Avlon, thank you. CUOMO: All right. So it's a new week, and there's even more chaos at
the White House. The latest cabinet member who may be shown the door. Next. Big hint, your screen.
CAMEROTA: Another White House staff shakeup appears imminent. Sources say V.A. Secretary David Shulkin could be the next one out the door. And there is more drama surrounding President Trump's legal team at a critical juncture in the negotiations with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN's Kaitlan Collins is live at the White House with all of these developments.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
It does seem as if the Veterans Affairs secretary, David Shulkin, is the next one on the chopping block here at the Trump White House. And though he was once a favorite of the president's, he has since fallen out of his good graces, and he has been on the verge of leaving for several years.