Last night, CBS News aired the much-anticipated 60 Minutes interview of adult film star Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, who credibly claims that Donald Trump had an extramarital affair with her behind Melania’s back.
Trump’s lawyer later paid Clifford $130,000 in hush money for her to sign a nondisclosure agreement, which some watchdog groups believe constitutes an illegal campaign donation. She is now suing, claiming the NDA is illegitimate because Trump never signed it.
Whatever the final result of the entire sordid saga turns out to be, there is no denying that the world is riveted by Clifford’s story. She’s an articulate, brave woman going up against a corrupt, vindictive lecher who also happens to be the most powerful man in the world.
Somehow, President Trump has managed to refrain from tweeting out any attacks or denials aimed at Clifford so far. It’s distinctly out of character for him and it means that either his team is finally succeeding at convincing him to show restraint, or he is afraid of Clifford because he knows she has evidence of their dalliance. That said, there is only so much public humiliation a narcissist like Trump can handle before he lashes out. We may be rapidly approaching that point.
A press release from 60 Minutes reports that the Stormy Daniels interview, conducted by Anderson Cooper, scored the program’s highest ratings in the past ten years. The final, precise ratings will be announced later tonight, but early estimates state that it will end up with the largest viewership since President Obama’s interview in 2008.
NPR‘s Tamara Keith tweeted out the press release, noting that it seemed “custom designed to drive the president crazy.” Keith is, of course, referring to President Trump’s unhealthy obsession with ratings that has infected him ever since he was running The Apprentice.
Presumably, he will be incensed by the fact that his mistress turned enemy is drew so many viewers. His ire is sure to be compounded by the fact that CBS pointed out that President Obama brought in a record number of viewers. Trump’s hatred for Obama is well-documented and comes from a place of deep insecurity. This a perfect storm of peeves for Trump and is sure to drive him closer towards his final breaking point.
— Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR) March 26, 2018