Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018|2 a.m.
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Wait, support a minute. We just zoomed past a story that would have been a five-alarm scandal for other administration, with weeks of screaming front-page headlines: “The President and the Pornography Star.”
The Wall Street Journal had the scoop Jan. 12: “A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a previous adult-film star a month prior to the 2016 election as part of a contract that precluded her from openly going over an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, inning accordance with people familiar with the matter.”
The pornography star in question is Stormy Daniels. The supposed affair happened in 2006, a year and a half after Trump married his third better half, Melania, and just months after their boy Barron was born.
Whoa. You ‘d think Trump’s advocates in the evangelical motion would lastly call him out for his loose– or nonexistent– morals. Instead, nevertheless, they have actually suddenly developed into a bunch of Left Bank cafe intellectuals, scoffing at silly American Puritanism as they sip absinthe and flick ashes from their unfiltered Gauloises.
“We type of provided him, all right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here,” stated Tony Perkins, president of the right-wing Household Research Council. For the full result, imagine that quote spoken in a heavy French accent. A doo-ovair.
Evangelist Franklin Graham tainted the tradition of his daddy, Billy, by likewise safeguarding Trump, stating that while “he is not President Perfect,” he does “have a concern for Christian worths.”
When there’s not a porn star around, obviously.
I cannot pretend to be shocked, surprised that conservative political activists who mask themselves in ostentatious piousness turn out to be rank hypocrites. That’s absolutely nothing new. I do regret, however, for the millions of Christians who planning to figures such as Perkins and Graham for moral leadership. They need to be terribly confused.
After all, Perkins’ predecessor at the Family Research Council, Gary Bauer, said this when Expense Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky was exposed in 1998: “Character counts– in a people, in the institutions of our society, and in our nationwide leadership.”
Obviously, it just counts when a Democrat remains in the White House, not a Republican. I’m still searching for the Bible verse that define this difference, but it needs to be in there somewhere.
The story itself is of more than merely prurient interest. Trump and legal representative Michael Cohen deny everything. However Daniels offered a 5,000-word interview to In Touch magazine where she explained her sexual encounter with Trump in persuading detail. And the Journal, in a follow-up story, gave a step-by-step account of how Cohen apparently made the hush-money payment.
Inning accordance with the newspaper, Cohen formed a Delaware business– making the most of the state’s no-tell personal privacy laws– called Important Professionals LLC on Oct. 17, 2016. He then used a checking account linked to the business to pay the $130,000 into an account controlled by a lawyer representing Daniels.
As the Watergate source “Deep Throat” never really stated to Washington Post press reporter Bob Woodward: “Follow the money.”
Where did the money originated from? Something we found out about Trump throughout the campaign is that he is loath to spend his own cash when he can spend somebody else’s instead. And one thing we gained from Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury” is that another Trump attorney “made sure” of “a hundred” females during the campaign, according to Steve Bannon, the campaign’s president.
Let’s presume Bannon was exaggerating and “a hundred” truly means “a number of.” If I were unique counsel Robert Mueller, I ‘d would like to know what does it cost? money was paid in total to the ladies and I ‘d want to make certain that no campaign funds were utilized, since that would be illegal.
Keep in mind the context: On Oct. 7, 2016, the Post reported on and published the “Gain access to Hollywood” tape in which Trump possessed sexually bothering and attacking ladies. Ten days later, inning accordance with the Journal, Trump’s attorney produced the shell business that was allegedly utilized as a conduit for cash to buy Daniels’ silence.
Something informs me Mueller’s all-star team of white-collar prosecutors will learn if any other phantom business were formed, if any other paramours were paid to keep peaceful, and where any such cash came from. Which is just the lower of Trump’s stress over the Stormy Daniels Affair.
The greater is that Melania Trump may not be as indulgent of Trump’s behavior as the sanctimonious preachers who allow him.
Eugene Robinson is a writer for The Washington Post.