Stormy Daniels appears amid affair claim

Brian Todd reports on Stormy Daniels's appearance over the weekend, and a threat by Trump's lawyer to sue tabloid.

Posted: Jan 23, 2018 6:39 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2018 6:39 PM

Melania Trump is skipping the World Economic Forum in Davos this year ("scheduling and logistical issues," said the White House).

Good for her.

Mrs. Trump was scheduled to attend the event to show support for her husband. Her cancellation comes after The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that Donald Trump's lawyer arranged a payout for pornography actress Stormy Daniels to ensure that she stayed quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump -- just a few months after Mrs. Trump gave birth to the couple's son, Barron.

Mrs. Trump has not made any public statements since that story broke. Nor should she have to. If the media wants to train its gaze on the important news, it can focus on Mr. Trump's behavior, not his wife: Ater all, she didn't do anything other than decide to skip an overpriced conference after some bad marital news.

It would be great, of course, if Melania Trump could leave him and take half his assets. But she knows who she married, and you can't imagine this comes as a huge surprise (which also explains why it's not a career-ending story -- of course Donald Trump allegedly slept with a porn star while away from his postpartum third wife; that's just the kind of guy he is).

Indeed, Mr. Trump's chief enablers seem utterly OK with the tawdry reports -- and they include the very people you would expect it to most deeply offend: some leading evangelical Christians.

According to Tony Perkins of the right-wing Family Research Council, Trump gets "a mulligan" on reports of cheating and other misbehavior; evangelicals "were tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists," Perkins explained to Politico.

As it happens, Trump is also sufficiently misogynist in the ways that matter to Perkins -- opposing abortion rights, for example, and limiting the ability of transgender people to be treated with dignity and equality.

Melania Trump may be drawing from the same rule book; her husband hasn't tried to hide his misogyny or his past infidelities, so it's a little hard to feel bad for a woman apparently willing to trade her good looks and basic respect for her philandering husband's financial largess.

But that doesn't mean she needs to participate in this public humiliation ritual -- to fly to his side in Switzerland and play the role of the silent wronged wife.

Nor does Mrs. Trump have much to do at Davos. She isn't a leader (or, by all appearances, even a thinker) on global business or politics; unlike some previous first ladies before her, she doesn't seem to have any interest in global affairs.

Sure, she would be playing the role of helpmeet wife, but maybe the time for women to play that role while their husbands do the important stuff should go by the wayside. Mrs. Trump doesn't have any good reason to be at Davos. Why should she go?

And for that matter, why do any of us care whether the first lady, a former model who seemed happier in a Fifth Avenue penthouse than holed up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, attends the World Economic Forum?

Our unseemly laser focus on Melania Trump is pure prurience -- not about her, but about the fallout from her husband's bad choices. Again, she is a symbol of how others (and especially women) bear the cost of Mr. Trump's egoism and lack of self-control.

So what should Melania do? Mr. Trump should go to Davos himself while she spends a few days at the spa. And while he's there, the men and women (although let's be honest, mostly men) of global business, politics and development should treat him with exactly the level of respect a deeply misogynist narcissist merits.

Journalists should demand he answer for the alleged payouts to silence Stormy Daniels rather than focus on an affair. And we should all leave Melania alone.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 918230

Reported Deaths: 15011
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1252491952
Lake623371084
Allen52301746
Hamilton43009443
St. Joseph41155584
Elkhart32831485
Vanderburgh29698436
Tippecanoe26442247
Johnson23106414
Hendricks21708338
Porter21255340
Clark16988222
Madison16899378
Vigo15562272
Monroe14186190
LaPorte13961235
Delaware13613215
Howard13531258
Kosciusko11150134
Hancock10534159
Warrick10431174
Bartholomew10233166
Floyd10099202
Wayne9557216
Grant8858194
Morgan8654158
Boone8231109
Dubois7521123
Henry7391126
Dearborn734186
Noble7208100
Marshall7168127
Cass7060117
Lawrence6803150
Jackson638980
Shelby6386106
Gibson5999105
Harrison587984
Huntington586490
Montgomery5663101
DeKalb555691
Knox532999
Miami523183
Clinton522464
Putnam519067
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Steuben480267
Wabash470192
Jasper465760
Jefferson456091
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Adams435565
Daviess4008106
Scott389563
White383457
Decatur376895
Clay376455
Greene375589
Wells375183
Fayette363074
Posey351841
Jennings341756
Washington324046
LaGrange312074
Spencer310734
Fountain306553
Randolph302087
Sullivan294947
Owen275961
Orange269659
Starke268961
Fulton264451
Jay248134
Perry244950
Carroll239926
Franklin229337
Vermillion225850
Rush225530
Parke212020
Tipton205354
Pike200938
Blackford163834
Pulaski155250
Crawford140818
Benton138316
Newton138141
Brown130646
Martin124416
Switzerland122310
Warren112616
Union92211
Ohio75811
Unassigned0461

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1319265

Reported Deaths: 21265
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1480641537
Cuyahoga1311202313
Hamilton948871307
Montgomery647451122
Summit548531041
Lucas49502853
Butler45993649
Stark39954963
Lorain30438525
Warren29170326
Mahoning25988629
Clermont24726278
Lake24088411
Delaware21722140
Licking19822239
Fairfield19780218
Greene19671266
Medina19208285
Trumbull19195506
Clark17188321
Portage15585224
Richland15540228
Wood15187208
Allen13654254
Miami13283244
Muskingum11821148
Wayne11448234
Columbiana11100239
Tuscarawas10388264
Marion10273144
Pickaway10162128
Scioto9766124
Erie9479170
Ross8979172
Lawrence8225116
Hancock8105140
Ashtabula8083184
Geauga7976155
Belmont7791183
Jefferson7093168
Huron7087125
Union703549
Washington6823116
Athens666163
Sandusky6608132
Darke6394135
Knox6308120
Seneca6113135
Auglaize569888
Ashland5631110
Shelby555799
Mercer545188
Brown533067
Defiance5278100
Madison527368
Crawford5148113
Highland514876
Fulton508781
Clinton505379
Logan494582
Preble4788110
Putnam4733106
Guernsey439057
Williams437281
Champaign426463
Ottawa425783
Perry414051
Jackson402259
Pike367140
Morrow359149
Fayette353951
Coshocton345064
Hardin341868
Adams338864
Gallia329254
Holmes3148107
Henry312668
Van Wert299269
Hocking280467
Wyandot271858
Carroll250451
Paulding231742
Meigs197842
Monroe178649
Noble160340
Morgan153528
Harrison145740
Vinton130217
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