White House defends Trump’s silence on Stormy Daniels: 'He also has a country to run'

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended President Trump’s silence over 2006 affair allegations made by adult film star Stormy Daniels.

At Tuesday’s press briefing, ABC News’ Cecilia Vega asked Sanders if she has talked to Trump about Daniels.

When Sanders responded briefly that Trump denies the allegations, Vega asked why Trump has not “punched back” when the White House has called him a “counter-puncher” in the past.

“I didn’t say he punches back on every single topic,” Sanders fired back. “He also has a country to run, and he’s doing a great job with that…Sometimes he chooses to specifically engage and punch back, and sometimes he doesn’t.”

Meanwhile, Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, suggested on Monday that Trump has avoided publicly commenting on her assertions because he knows she isn’t lying. 

Avenatti told Gayle King, the anchor of ‘CBS This Morning,’ “Isn’t it interesting, Gayle, that we have a president that will tweet about the most mundane matters, but he won’t tweet about my client, the affair, the agreement or the $130,000 payment.”

“You know why he won’t tweet about it? Because it’s true. It’s 100 percent true,” Avenatti further said.

In her ‘60 Minutes’ interview, Daniels shared details about her alleged affair with Trump and the $130,000 she reportedly received from his attorney, Michael Cohen, just prior to the 2016 election. 

What Stormy Daniels has said about her affair with Trump
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What Stormy Daniels has said about her affair with Trump

She says: In Touch never paid her for her story

Daniels says she was never paid the $15,000 she was originally offered by In Touch for the story of her alleged affair with Trump.

She says: Her sexual encounter with Trump was consensual

Daniels had said during the "60 Minutes" interview that she didn't want to have sex with Trump – but when asked by Anderson Cooper if the encounter with Trump was consensual, the adult film star responded affirmatively, saying, "yes, yes."

She says: Trump's lawyer threatened her and her daughter

As she detailed the aftermath of the alleged affair, Stormy Daniels -- whose real name is Stephanie Clifford -- described a moment in a Las Vegas parking lot when a man threatened her:

"And a guy walked up on me and said to me, 'Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.' 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.' And then he was gone."

She says: Trump compared her to Ivanka

"He was like, 'Wow, you — you are special. You remind me of my daughter,'" Daniels told "60 Minutes." "You know — he was like, 'You're smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you.'"

She says: Trump "brushed aside" his relationship with Melania

When asked by Anderson Cooper about Trump's marriage to Melania Trump, Daniels said Trump "brushed aside" any concern surrounding his marital vows. She said he spoke of his marriage to Daniels, saying:

"Oh yeah, yeah, you know, don’t worry about that. We don’t even—we have separate rooms and stuff."

She says: She spanked Trump with a magazine with Trump on the cover

Stormy Daniels confirmed in her "60 Minutes" interview the earlier report that she had spanked Trump with a magazine featuring himself on the cover.

She says: She was paid $130,000 in hush money

Michael Cohen has confirmed that he paid Stephanie Clifford $130,000 11 days before the 2016 election. A former chairman of the Federal Election Commission has since said this payment may have been illegal.


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