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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: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
Vermillion173544
Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1107047

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1284921459
Cuyahoga1155972204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524821040
Summit48339999
Lucas43303817
Butler38901603
Stark33286929
Lorain25641502
Warren24557303
Mahoning22330601
Lake21135385
Clermont20097252
Delaware18817135
Licking16645222
Fairfield16561204
Trumbull16522479
Medina15593270
Greene15252246
Clark14219306
Wood13280197
Portage13226214
Allen11905239
Richland11598211
Miami10835223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9020230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8649122
Marion8635138
Tuscarawas8633247
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7137179
Hancock6996131
Ross6933161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6528104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5722102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5436125
Darke5415129
Seneca5343126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501587
Mercer487385
Shelby476195
Knox4567112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4333103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387277
Preble3847103
Clinton378466
Ottawa372681
Highland359265
Williams347578
Champaign343658
Guernsey324153
Jackson317354
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285450
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2698101
Coshocton268359
Van Wert247264
Adams242856
Pike242735
Gallia240450
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196748
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113638
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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