Attorneys central to the drama surrounding an alleged affair between porn star Stormy Daniels and President Donald Trump argued at length Monday evening over the suggestion that the President's lawyer was tied to an alleged threat Daniels received in 2011.
Daniels alleged Sunday in a CBS interview that weeks after she agreed to sell her story to a magazine in 2011, a man walked up to her in a parking lot and threatened her and her infant daughter, saying, "Leave Trump alone. Forget the story."
Speaking on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti said he was "not yet" accusing Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, or the Trump Organization of having sent someone to threaten Daniels, but asserted that "there's only three groups of people that individual could have been sent by."
"... We know it's not my client that sent the goon," Avenatti told Cooper. "We know it's not the magazine that sent the goon. There's only one logical place left as to who would have sent the goon. It's common sense."
Cohen's attorney David Schwartz -- who said he is not representing Cohen in this case -- said Daniels' claim that she was threatened is false, and that the implication that Cohen was involved is "a complete lie."
"It's an utter fiction," Schwartz said. "And that in and of itself is defamatory to say that was Michael Cohen or someone sent by Michael Cohen. ... It's a figment of her imagination. That person doesn't exist."
As their argument unfolded, Avenatti asserted that Cohen is a "thug" and said repeated the word "thug" several times, as Schwartz interjected.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, outlined the alleged threat during an interview that aired Sunday evening on "60 Minutes." Avenatti on Monday amended Daniels' lawsuit over a nondisclosure agreement allegedly tied to a six-figure hush money payment for an affair with President Donald Trump. The lawsuit as filed Monday specifically names Cohen and accuses him of defamation against Daniels.
In a letter obtained by CNN, the law firm representing Cohen alleges its client had been defamed during Daniels' interview. Cohen has admitted to facilitating the payment, but denied wrongdoing, and the White House on Monday continued to deny the affair took place.