Trump is drowning in lies

The main lesson of the Stormy Daniels imbroglio is this: The president's lies are overwhelming him

President Trump.
(Image credit: Illustrated | NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images, Jamaway/Stockimo/Alamy Stock Photo)

On Wednesday night, former New York City Mayor and fresh Trump legal team recruit Rudy Giuliani went on Fox News and, among other things, accidentally blew apart President Trump's farcical explanation of l'affaire Stormy Daniels. Chatting amiably with Sean Hannity, Giuliani admitted that the president reimbursed his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, after the latter paid Daniels off through a shell company. The president had previously argued that he was unaware of the $130,000 hush payment made to adult film star Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a Stormy Daniels, who claims the money was meant to buy her silence after an affair she had with the future president shortly after the birth of his son Barron in 2006.

The president's new story is that he knew about this payment, but that it was meant to prevent Daniels from extorting him, even though this would constitute ... very successful extortion indeed. It's like donating a thousand dollars on the spot to the "Do you have a minute for the environment?" people to get them to go away. The story is now such a mess that the president subcontracted his Twitter account on Thursday morning to someone who can write in complete sentences. "The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair."

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David Faris

David Faris is an associate professor of political science at Roosevelt University and the author of It's Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics. He is a frequent contributor to Informed Comment, and his work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and Indy Week.