TRUMP’S STORM: President fires back with legal action amid Stormy Daniels’ claim she was threatened over alleged affair

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Monday responded to allegations by adult film star Stormy Daniels that she was threatened to keep quiet over an alleged affair between she and Trump that took place more than a decade ago, prior to Trump’s presidency.

Brent Blakely, an attorney representing Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, sent Daniels a cease and desist letter Sunday evening following an interview the former porn star did with “60 Minutes” regarding the pair’s alleged affair.

In it, Blakely demanded that Daniels apologize for insinuating that Cohen was behind a threat Daniels says she received by a stranger in 2011, ordering her to stay quiet about her supposed tryst with the billionaire business mogul.

“A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,'” Daniels told Anderson Cooper during the broadcast. “And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.'”

Although she did not call Cohen out by name, Daniels insinuated that Trump’s personal attorney ordered the veiled threat in an effort to protect his client. In the letter, Blakely further ordered Daniels to refrain from making “false and defamatory statements” about Cohen in the future.

In an exchange between Daniels and Cooper during the “60 Minutes” interview, Daniels’ contended that the physical relationship she had with Trump was “completely consensual” and made it clear that she was “not a victim”.

Anderson Cooper: “You were 27, he was 60. Were you physically attracted to him?”

Stormy Daniels: “No.”

Anderson Cooper: “Not at all?”

Stormy Daniels: “No.”

Anderson Cooper: “Did you want to have sex with him?”

Stormy Daniels: “No. But I didn’t– I didn’t say no. I’m not a victim, I’m not–”

Anderson Cooper: “It was entirely consensual.”

Stormy Daniels: “Oh, yes, yes.”

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, Daniels said she had an “intimate” relationship with Trump in 2006 and 2007 but had signed a confidentiality agreement regarding the affair, which obligated her to keep quiet. Daniels signed the deal, which had been orchestrated by Cohen prior to the 2016 election, in exchange for $130,000.

Daniels now contends, however, that the agreement is void because Trump never signed it. Cohen has since threatened to fine Daniels $20 million in damages for violating the terms of the contract.

Meanwhile, Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti shot back last week against claims that his client was fabricating the story courtesy a cryptic tweet.

“If ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ how many words is this worth?????” Avenatti wrote alongside a photo of an unmarked computer disc.

While Avenatti refused to disclose the disc’s contents, he told CNN later in the day that the photo was a heads up to Trump’s attorneys.

“It’s a warning shot to Michael Cohen and anyone else associated with President Trump that they better be very, very careful,” Avenatti said.

President Trump, while admitting that he has met Daniels on at least one occasion, has not formally addressed her allegations.

Calls to the White House and to Cohen’s representatives for statement were each met with “no comment”.

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STATE OF WITHDRAWL: Trump’s pick for drug czar removes himself from consideration after bombshell report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Tom Marino, the president’s top pick for drug czar, removed himself from the list of Trump nominees Tuesday after a report surfaced suggesting the Pennsylvania Republican is soft on enforcing drug laws.

“Rep. Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar. Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!” the president tweeted Tuesday after being notified of Marino’s decision.

Marino’s withdrawal comes on the heels of a joint report by CBS’ 60 Minutes and The Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/10/17/trump-says-drug-czar-nominee-tom-marino-is-withdrawing-after-washington-post60-minutes-investigation/?utm_term=.caace5cf1488) which claimed Marino had worked to water down legislation and weaken the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to go after high-level drug dealers.

The report alleged that Marino, who was the chief advocate for a 2016 bill at the center of the investigation, used legislation to disarm the Drug Enforcement Administration during the height of the crisis, thus weakening the DEA’s control over opioid drug distributors.

Both Democrats and Republicans had called on the president to remove Marino from consideration in light of the WaPo report, but as of Monday President Trump had failed to make a formal decision on the matter.

“He was a very early supporter of mine. … He’s a great guy,” Trump said during a press conference on Monday adding, “We’re going to look into the report. We’re going to take it very seriously. … We’re going to be looking into Tom.”

During a Tuesday morning interview on Fox News Radio with host Brian Kilmeade,
Trump praised Marino and said he understood his decision to remove himself from consideration.

“He was very gracious,” Trump said. “He didn’t want to even have the perception of a conflict of interest with drug companies or insurance companies.”

“There was a couple of articles having to do with him and drug companies,” Trump said. “And I will tell you he felt compelled. He feels strong about the opioid problem and the drug problem, which is a worldwide problem, it’s a problem that we have. And Tom Marino said, ‘I’ll take a pass, I have no choice, I’ll really take a pass, I want to do it.’ He was very gracious, I have to say that.”

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who led Democrats on Monday in opposing Marino’s nomination, praised Trump over the announcement.

“Thanks for recognizing we need a drug czar who has seen the devastating effects of the problem,” Manchin said in a tweet to the president.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, (R)-Utah, who had worked with Marino to co-sponsor the bill, defended the legislation on Monday, calling allegations that either of the two had “conspired” with drug companies “utterly ridiculous.”

I’m “no patsy” of the drug industry, said Hatch.

Calls for statement from Rep. Marino were met with “no comment”.

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KELLY BOMBS: ‘SUNDAY NIGHT’ A RATINGS NIGHTMARE DESPITE HYPE OVER ALEX JONES

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Despite weeks of controversy leading up to Megyn Kelly’s showdown with Alex Jones, the former Fox News host’s show, “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” was a bust with network viewers who seem to have lost interest in the one time ratings queen.

According to Sunday night’s Nielsen ratings (http://www.latimes.com/topic/entertainment/megyn-kelly-PECLB0000009270-topic.html), “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly” averaged just 3.53 million viewers during its Sunday 7 p.m. time slot, the lowest figure yet since the program debuted on NBC on June 4. Ratings were so dismal, as a matter of fact, that Kelly’s program was easily beat by a rerun of “60 Minutes” on CBS, which averaged 5.3 million viewers in that same hour.

NBC tried hard to promote the program, which featured what turned out to be a heavily edited interview with alternative news host Alex Jones, but in the end, network viewers just didn’t seem to care.

Kelly sparked a great deal of controversy over the interview with Jones, who has been vocal in his questioning of the government’s official story surrounding the events of 9/11 and the shooting at Sandy Hook.

For his part, Jones, who went public last week with claims that Kelly had manipulated the interview to create a “hit piece” on him, released his own audio recording of the interview in its entirety in an effort to expose what he claimed was Kelly’s promoting of “fake news” (http://thehill.com/homenews/media/338097-alex-jones-releases-more-secret-taped-megyn-kelly-audio-nbc-responds).

In the audio, which was recorded without Kelly’s knowledge, Kelly can allegedly be heard telling Jones that her goal was to show Jones’ softer side because, as she put it, she believed that he had been misrepresented in the media.

“The reason you are interesting to me is because I followed your custody case, and I think you had a very good point about how the media was covering it and for some reason treated you and your family and what was going on as fair game when they never would have done that if you were a mainstream media figure,” Kelly can be heard telling Jones. “I saw a different side of you in that whole thing and, you know, you just became very fascinating to me.”

Jones, upon seeing a promo piece released by Kelly to promote the interview, was quick to respond with allegations that the interview had been over edited and that he had been lied to.

“I’ve never done this in 22 years, I’ve never recorded another journalist,” Jones said on his daily radio show, “Infowars”. “I’ve never done this, but I knew that it was a fraud, that it was a lie.”

Kelly’s program is slated to run through the summer, but insiders say that based on poor performance, “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” is unlikely to finish a full season.

Kelly joined NBC News in January after 13 years at Fox News for a reported $17 million per year. The former “Kelly File” host left Fox for NBC after controversy erupted surrounding what supporters of then presidential candidate Donald Trump called poor treatment of the Republican candidate during a series of debates, which Kelly had been tapped to moderate.

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