Speed Reads


Trump is apparently mad at Sarah Huckabee Sanders now

If one thing is clear in the Stormy Daniels scandal that has engulfed the last few days of President Trump's administration, it's this: Everything is Sarah Huckabee Sanders' fault.

CNN reports that Trump is "very unhappy" with Sanders, his press secretary, after she mentioned in her briefing remarks Wednesday that a legal battle with Daniels had been "won in arbitration." Daniels, an adult film actress who alleges she and Trump carried on an affair in 2006 and 2007 and that she was compelled by Trump's personal lawyer in the waning days of the 2016 campaign to sign a non-disclosure agreement about their relationship, filed a lawsuit against the president Tuesday alleging the agreement was invalid because Trump himself never signed it.

Trump has, of course, steadfastly denied all Daniels-related allegations against him: that they had an affair; that he was aware of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, transferring $130,000 to Daniels as "hush money"; that any non-disclosure agreement was arranged or signed. But Sanders' acknowledgment of arbitration proceedings raised eyebrows Wednesday; as The Guardian's Ben Jacobs noted, "If there was an arbitration between the two, that means there has to have been a contract."

A source close to the White House told CNN that Trump believes Sanders "gave the Stormy Daniels storyline steroids yesterday" with her mention of arbitration. For their part, Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti dismissed Sanders' claim that the case had already been decided in Trump's favor, telling The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg: "Yeah, and he also won the popular vote."