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When word made it to the Trump Organization in 2016 that an adult film star was claiming she had an affair with Donald Trump, the then-presidential candidate wasn’t exactly pressed. Trump actually thought it would boost his favorability in the polls, Michael Cohen writes in his book Disloyal: A Memoir. Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, said Trump was actually more worried about wife Melania Trump‘s potential reaction than a public scandal.
Stormy Daniels had claimed that she slept with Trump in 2006, just months after son Barron Trump (now 14) was born. As the story started to make the rounds, Cohen and Trump came to an agreement with Daniels’ rep: pay her $130,000 to make it go away. The Trump Organization determined that the only way to make sure the money wasn’t traced back to Trump was for Cohen to pay Daniels out of pocket. Trump still publicly denies that any of this, including the affair, ever happened.
“It’s a lot of money for nothing. It never pays to settle these things, but many, many friends have advised me to pay. One hundred and thirty thousand dollars is a lot less money than I’d have to pay Melania,” Trump allegedly told Cohen during a meeting, referring to what he’d have to give his wife if they divorced. “If it comes out, I’m not sure how it would play with my supporters. But I bet they’d think it’s cool that I slept with a porn star.”
Just one month later, he would shockingly be elected the 45th President of the United States. The Daniels story surfaced in January 2018, and eight months later, Cohen would plead guilty to violating campaign finance law “for the principal purpose of influencing” the 2016 presidential election, as well as lying to Congress. Cohen is currently serving a three-year sentence under house arrest in Manhattan.
Elsewhere in his book, Cohen detailed instances of alleged sexist behavior from the president, including a 2012 incident in which he made crude remarks then-15-year-old daughter. “Look at that piece of ass,” Trump allegedly told Cohen, pointing out a young woman (who turned out to be Samantha) playing tennis. “I would love a piece of that.” Trump congratulated Cohen when he found out who she was. “That’s your daughter? When did she get so hot?” Trump allegedly told him before bumping his fist.
The White House denied all allegations in Disloyal, telling HollywoodLife in a statement: “Michael Cohen is a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer, who lied to Congress. He has lost all credibility, and it’s unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies.” Disloyal: A Memoir hits bookshelves on September 8.