Stormy Daniels' friend speaks out about Trump

CNN's Sara Sidner speaks to Stormy Daniels' friend about the allegations President Trump had a sexual encounter with the porn star.

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 6:46 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2018 6:46 PM

Making an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" after President Trump's State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, Stephanie Clifford, aka "Stormy Daniels," all but explicitly verified the existence of a nondisclosure agreement that has been a source of contention and speculation about her alleged sexual encounter with the President.

While the entire Kimmel/Clifford encounter was cringeworthy for reasons that far surpass its potential legal ramifications for Ms. Clifford (at one point, Kimmel's aggressive questioning took such a perverse bent that Ms. Clifford asked Kimmel in disbelief, "What is wrong with you?"), the issue of the NDA was particularly precarious:

Kimmel: "Do you have a nondisclosure agreement?"

Clifford: "Do I?"

Kimmel: "You can't say whether you have a nondisclosure agreement, but, if you didn't have a nondisclosure agreement, you most certainly could say 'I don't have a nondisclosure agreement,' yes?"

Clifford: "You're so smart, Jimmy." (audience applause)

Kimmel: "Thank you very much."

In an attempt at damage control, Clifford's attorney, Keith Davidson, sent the Guardian an email stating that Clifford "was having fun on Kimmel and being her normal playful self."

From a purely legal vantage point, Ms. Clifford could well have violated her NDA because -- let's be honest -- any reasonable person watching the interview could discern from Clifford's comments and demeanor that she has one. In legal terms, a judge could conclude that, based on a totality of the circumstances, the interview constituted an indirect representation that such an agreement exists.

And a prohibition on acknowledgment of the existence of the NDA is likely a part of the NDA itself (stay with me), because the logical conclusion thereof, of course, is that Clifford in fact had a consensual affair with Donald Trump in 2006, as she detailed in her original 2011 interview with In Touch.

Otherwise, why have a nondisclosure agreement in the first place?

It therefore comes as no surprise that Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, allegedly arranged for $130,000 to be paid to Ms. Clifford in the month leading up to the presidential election in exchange for her silence -- such agreements are not uncommon when it comes to celebrities.

But Clifford is not remaining silent, and that presents Cohen with an interesting dilemma. What, if anything, is he going to do about it? Moving forward with a full-fledged enforcement of the agreement necessitates an acknowledgment of the NDA with Clifford. This Catch-22 highlights just one of the many problems associated with this popular contractual tool that is -- more often than not -- used by the more powerful party in a dispute to keep their transgressions out of the public eye.

In short, they don't work, because they often fail to protect the powerful anyway and worse, hinder those seeking justice from moving forward with the authorities.

Nondisclosure agreements are certainly having a moment -- and not in a good way. USA Gymnastics included a nondisclosure agreement with Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, as part of her settlement agreement with the organization alleging sexual abuse at the hands of disgraced former USAG doctor Larry Nassar.

After Chrissy Teigen offered on Twitter to pay the fine herself if Maroney violated the agreement so that Maroney could submit a victim impact statement at Nassar's sentencing hearing earlier this month, USAG issued a statement in which they agreed not to penalize her for doing so (although they allege that it was Maroney, not USAG, who requested the confidentiality clause in the first place).

NDAs have also been of particular importance in the discussions around #MeToo. Speaking to CNN's Kate Bolduan as news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, I noted that many of Harvey Weinstein's accusers had signed NDAs with him and/or the Weinstein Company after complaints were raised, making a delayed criminal prosecution of him more difficult for authorities.

In fact, Ronan Farrow's reporting suggests that Ambra Battilana Gutierrez (the woman who cooperated with the NYPD in an undercover sting operation and caught Harvey Weinstein on tape admitting to her sexual assault) signed an affidavit stating that the incident never took place, as part of her nondisclosure agreement with Weinstein's team.

These are just two examples of the problems with NDAs when they involve sexual encounters -- consensual or otherwise. And, just as we saw a slew of proposed legislation surrounding criminal statutes of limitation for sexual assault in the wake of the Bill Cosby scandal, the latest iteration on the civil side of the #MeToo movement's fallout is a move toward banning NDAs in civil cases.

Don't get me wrong, some women want nondisclosure agreements as part of settlement agreements when it comes to sexual encounters in order to protect their anonymity. But in other circumstances -- like Ms. Clifford's -- they are an outdated legal tool wielded by the rich and powerful to buy silence, the absurd results of which are our having to endure the tawdry charade of Kimmel asking Clifford if she has ever "made love to anyone who's name rhymes with Lonald Lump."

Clifford's adroit response, a proverbial wink and nod: "I'll call you whatever you want me to call you, baby."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
Hendricks17682317
Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
LaPorte12419221
Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
Howard10321225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8576146
Bartholomew8169157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
Noble581488
Jackson509076
Shelby501496
Lawrence4742122
Gibson444894
Clinton442355
Harrison441875
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438090
Whitley406543
Huntington402681
Steuben400159
Miami395269
Jasper388054
Knox375991
Putnam372960
Wabash361983
Ripley347170
Adams345555
Jefferson335886
White331953
Daviess3033100
Wells295281
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246036
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228058
Fountain220948
Sullivan214643
Owen211858
Fulton202942
Jay200932
Carroll193620
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166246
Parke149416
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120647
Newton113936
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101714
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108902

Reported Deaths: 20166
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1287491467
Cuyahoga1158082211
Hamilton814091250
Montgomery525571043
Summit484351001
Lucas43359820
Butler39018606
Stark33338929
Lorain25675505
Warren24595303
Mahoning22376603
Lake21211388
Clermont20124253
Delaware18856136
Licking16663222
Fairfield16576204
Trumbull16551482
Medina15612271
Greene15284248
Clark14237306
Wood13292200
Portage13251215
Allen11914239
Richland11607211
Miami10849225
Wayne9146223
Columbiana9034230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8650250
Marion8642138
Erie8056165
Ashtabula7161179
Hancock6999132
Ross6945161
Geauga6838151
Scioto6534106
Belmont6157174
Union584649
Lawrence5732102
Jefferson5679158
Huron5546122
Sandusky5442126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5320109
Athens523960
Auglaize502187
Mercer487385
Shelby476895
Knox4572112
Madison444366
Ashland435797
Putnam4336103
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4040110
Brown402461
Logan387677
Preble3856105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373681
Highland359865
Williams348278
Champaign344859
Guernsey324953
Jackson318254
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin275365
Henry273467
Holmes2702101
Coshocton269060
Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220563
Carroll197348
Paulding176542
Meigs148440
Monroe136344
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 69°
Angola
Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: °
Huntington
Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Decatur
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 69°
Van Wert
Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 80°
Calm and cool conditions are expected across the Midwest through the middle of the work week.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events