Monday, May 27, 2024

Alleged Trump-Stormy Daniels affair began at Lake Tahoe celebrity golf tournament

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Former President Donald Trump is on trial in a New York courtroom, charged with falsifying business records in order to funnel hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels and other women in the run-up to the 2016 election.

According to an interview Daniels gave to In Touch magazine, the alleged affair between Trump and Daniels began at Lake Tahoe, when Trump was competing in the 2006 American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Stateline, Nevada.

Daniels told magazine about alleged affair

In 2018, In Touch magazine published an interview with the former adult film star from 2011 in which she goes into salacious details about an alleged extramarital affair at Lake Tahoe with Trump that she had previously claimed never took place.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, told the magazine in 2011 that the alleged trysts with Trump began in July 2006 after she met him at the celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. The meeting came a year after the future president had married Melania Trump, his third wife.

“I actually don’t even remember why I did it but I do remember while we were having sex, I was like, ‘Please don’t try to pay me,’” Daniels said in the 2011 interview that the magazine only recently resurrected. “And then I remember thinking, ‘But I bet if he did, it would be a lot.’”

The article, headlined “Donald Trump Cheated on Melania With Me,” was published Jan. 17, 2018. Five days earlier, she had denied reports of an affair after The Wall Street Journal reported that the former adult film star was allegedly paid $130,000 through Trump’s lawyer to keep silent.

Organizers for the annual American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe had no comment about the Wall Street Journal report.

Trump entered the event three times, competing from 2004 through 2006. His best result was a 42nd-place finish in 2005.

In the In Touch article, Daniels told the magazine that she and Trump had several more encounters over the next few years.

“Whether you’re a fan of his or not, which I never really was, you gotta admit he’s pretty fascinating,” she said in the interview. “We had really good banter. He told me once that I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful and smart just like his daughter.”

Fact check: Debunking misinformation about Stormy Daniels amid Trump hush money trial

Michael Cohen, Trump lawyer turned critic, served 3 years for his role

The Wall Street Journal in 2018 reported that Michael Cohen, a longtime lawyer for Trump, arranged the $130,000 payment a month before the 2016 election. The article, quoting “people familiar with the matter,” alleged that the payment was part of an agreement that precluded her from discussing the alleged affair with Trump publicly.

The newspaper had said Cohen and the Trump White House denied the allegations of any agreement aimed at keeping her silent. Cohen also released a statement from Daniels denying any “sexual and/or romantic affair” with Trump or the receipt of any “hush money” from Trump.

Cohen subsequently was sentenced to three years in prison in December 2018 after pleading guilty to concealing personal income from the Internal Revenue Service and “causing $280,000 in payments to be made to silence two women who otherwise planned to speak publicly about their alleged affairs with a presidential candidate, thereby intending to influence the 2016 presidential election,” according to Justice Department documents.

Cohen was released early to home detention due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, Cohen has become a sharp critic of Trump, claiming the former president threw him under the bus to save his own reputation. Cohen’s close proximity to Trump during the alleged hush-money payments could prove pivotal if an indictment does come.

Adult film actress Alana Evans alleged Tahoe invitation as well

In Touch was not the only media contact Daniels made. Jacob Weisberg, editor in chief of the Slate Group, wrote in Slate in January 2018 that Daniels likewise related to him details of her alleged affair in a series of phone conversations and text messages between August and October 2016, in which she was allegedly prepared to go public with her allegations.

Weisberg said Daniels was also discussing going public on ABC’s “Good Morning America” around the same time but went silent about a week before the 2016 election, refusing to respond to Weisberg’s messages. This was around the same time as the alleged payment to the actress.

In a related story, Alana Evans, also an adult film actress and friend of Daniels, told Megyn Kelly of NBC’s Today this week that Trump invited her to join him and Daniels for a “party” in his Lake Tahoe hotel room. She said she turned down the invitation but had an idea of what kind of “party” the pair allegedly had in mind.

“If you’re inviting me to a hotel room to hang out with another man and a girlfriend of mine, it’s very easy for you to believe that there’s going to be more going on than just playing cards or Scrabble,” Evans said.

She added that Daniels told her the next morning how the evening had unfolded.

“She says, ‘Well, picture this: Donald Trump chasing me around the bedroom in his tighty whities,” Evans told Kelly, “isn’t something that you forget.”

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