Stormy Daniels is crushing President Trump at his own game

The reality TV star turned shamelessness into a powerful political tool. In a porn star, he's finally met his match.

Chess pieces.
(Image credit: Illustrated | SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images, Evan Agostini/Getty Images, Stuart Burford / Alamy Stock Photo, jvphoto / Alamy Stock Photo)

President Trump made shamelessness into a political tool. In Stormy Daniels, he's met his match.

The porn star has turned to the courts to invalidate a hush agreement, signed 10 days before the 2016 presidential election, that prevents her from disclosing details and documents pertaining to an alleged affair between herself and the president over a decade ago. The president's attorney, Michael Cohen, has admitted to "facilitating" a payment of $130,000 to Daniels just a few days before the election. Daniels (who had already given an interview to In Touch) wants to be released from an agreement that she says was never valid since the person named in the agreement (one "David Dennison") never actually signed it. She has offered to return the alleged hush money in full — and not to Cohen, or the shell company he used to pay her — but to Trump himself. Now it's being reported that a second Trump Organization attorney has been involved in the legal battle against her, further undercutting Cohen's claims that neither the president nor his company have been connected to the payment.

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Lili Loofbourow

Lili Loofbourow is the culture critic at She's also a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Review of Books and an editor for Beyond Criticism, a Bloomsbury Academic series dedicated to formally experimental criticism. Her writing has appeared in a variety of venues including The Guardian, Salon, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and Slate.