- Stormy Daniels, a porn star who alleges she had an affair with the president a decade ago, has offered to return the $130,000 in hush money she received from his lawyer in 2016.
- In a letter sent to the lawyer on Monday, the actress offered to return the money directly to President Donald Trump in exchange for the voidance of a 2016 non-disclosure agreement.
- Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, would then be free to share new information and speak openly about her alleged relationship with Trump as well as his attempts to silence her.
Stormy Daniels, a porn star who alleges she had an affair with President Donald Trump a decade ago, has offered to return the $130,000 in hush money she received from Trump’s lawyer in 2016 in exchange for the freedom to divulge new details about her alleged relationship with Trump.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, made the offer in a letter sent to Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, on Monday. In it, Clifford’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, writes that the payment, which would be wired directly to the president by Friday, would make the non-disclosure agreement Clifford signed weeks before the election “null and void.”
Under the new agreement, Clifford would be allowed to “(a) speak openly and freely about her prior relationship with the President and the attempts to silence her and (b) use and publish any text messages, photos and/or videos relating to the President that she may have in her possession, all without fear of retribution and/or legal liability for damages.”
“This has never been about the money,” Avenatti told NBC News on Monday. “It has always been about Ms. Clifford being allowed to tell the truth. The American people should be permitted to judge for themselves who is shooting straight with them and who is misleading them. Our offer seeks to allow this to happen.”
The offer puts the president in a tricky position.If he denies Clifford’s offer, that could be interpreted as an admission that the president is indeed attempting to silence her. And if he accepts the new agreement, Clifford can speak publicly about their alleged relationship, which took place while the president was married to first lady Melania Trump.
Cohen, who has admitted to facilitating the $130,000 payment to keep Clifford quiet, denies that the negotiations or the payment were made on behalf of the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president denies having any relationship with Clifford and did not know about the payment or the non-disclosure agreement.
The payment itself has come under scrutiny by government watchdog groups and ethics experts, who say it violated campaign finance laws.
Clifford sued the president last week, arguing that the nondisclosure agreement she says was designed to conceal the affair is invalid because Trump never signed it. The suit asserts that Trump “purposely did not sign the agreement so he could later, if need be, publicly disavow any knowledge of the Hush Agreement and Ms. Clifford.”
In January, In Touch Weekly, a celebrity-gossip magazine, published the transcript from a lengthy 2011 interview with Clifford in which she detailed her sexual relationship with Trump, which she says began in July 2006 and continued through early 2007. Clifford told the outlet that he nicknamed her “honey bunch” and said she was “beautiful and smart just like his daughter.”