Speed Reads

Plot twist

Stormy Daniels reportedly threatened to go public with Trump affair allegations right before Election Day

Adult film star Stormy Daniels, who allegedly had an affair with President Trump around the time his third wife, first lady Melania Trump, gave birth to their son, threatened to go public with her story shortly before the 2016 election, The Washington Post reported Friday evening.

Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged to pay Daniels $130,000 of his own money to buy her silence about a relationship he says did not occur. In late October of 2016, the payment had yet to arrive, and Daniels' attorney emailed Cohen to say his client "deems her settlement agreement canceled and void." The money eventually arrived a mere 12 days before the election, and Daniels kept silent until the story of the alleged affair broke in January.

The payment is now subject to two complaints filed with the Federal Election Commission. Read The Week's Paul Waldman on why the money "almost certainly constituted an in-kind campaign contribution" — and what that means for Cohen and Trump.