Speed Reads

in today's stormy Daniels news

Trump is uncharacteristically quiet about Stormy Daniels on Twitter and in public, but not behind closed doors

"After 61 weeks in the White House, President Trump has found two people he won't attack on Twitter: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal," The New York Times says. Even recent tell-all TV interviews by his purported ex-paramours, Daniels and McDougal, didn't move Trump to counterpunch. But "privately, the president has lobbed sharp attacks at Daniels and her media tour, calling her allegations a 'hoax' and asking confidants if the episode is hurting his poll numbers," The Washington Post reports. Also, the Times adds, "he is growing increasingly frustrated with breathless, wall-to-wall news media coverage of the salacious details from the two women."

Like 22 million others, Trump watched Daniels dish about him in sometimes humiliating detail on 60 Minutes Sunday night, the Post says, and he "asked staff in the White House if they, too, had watched and wondered what they thought of it, someone who has spoken to him said." Trump said "he personally did not think Daniels appeared credible," but "inside the West Wing, senior officials believe Daniels' account to be largely credible and consider it a serious news story that could deal real and lasting damage to the president," the Post adds, citing a Trump adviser. Mostly, Trump is keeping uncharacteristically silent because he agrees with his advisers about not feeding the fire:

Trump has calculated that the salacious details from Daniels and other women now surfacing publicly will not erode his political support in any meaningful way. The president has convinced himself, said one Republican in frequent touch with the White House, that the scandal will blow over — in part because, for decades, Trump deliberately presented himself as a Manhattan millionaire playboy. ... Trump also believes his base of loyal supporters, including Christian conservatives, will not abandon him. [The Washington Post]

So until Trump changes his mind, the Times notes, "only his alleged mistresses and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia ... are immune to Mr. Trump's Twitter trash-talk."