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Stormy Daniels' Attorney Says She Was Physically Threatened, But You Must See Upcoming TV Interview for Details

Susan Jones
By Susan Jones | March 16, 2018 | 10:09 AM EDT

Making the rounds of liberal cable channels Friday morning, Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti said he was not there to hype an upcoming "60 Minutes" interview with the porn star -- even as he hyped the upcoming interview.

"Yes," Daniels was threatened -- physically threatened -- Avenatti told MSNBC first.

He later repeated the "breaking news" on CNN, without ever saying who threatened Daniels or why:

"I'm stating a fact, and the fact is that my client was physically threatened to stay silent about what she knew about Donald Trump," Avenatti said on CNN. "The details surrounding that she's going to discuss, I'm sure, on the '60 Minutes' interview on March 25, and the American people are going to weigh her veracity on whether she can be trusted, whether she appears to be credible, and whether it happened or not, and they're going to learn the details surrounding that.

"And we're going to let them judge for themselves whether she's being honest."

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" devoted most of Friday's show to the Daniels' allegation that she was paid $130,000, by way of Trump attorney Michael Cohen, to keep quiet about an extramarital affair she says she had with Trump in 2006 when he was married to Melania, his third wife.

Rarely has a porn star been accorded such credibility. (For the record, Stormy Daniels launched her "Make America Horny Again" tour in January, on the the anniversary of Trump's inauguration -- an apparently lucrative gig.)

"Morning  Joe" anchor Mika Brzezinski asked Avenatti on Friday what it is that Daniels wants by going public:

"Well, we've been clear for some time now that Miss Clifford (Daniels' real name is Stephanie Clifford) wants a forum, a platform in which she can tell her story unrestrained, can tell the American people the truth about what happened, not just about the relationship with the president but also about the attempts by the president and Mr. Cohen to muzzle her and prevent her from telling her story," Avenatti said.

Brzezinski also asked about the $130,000 payment to silence Daniels: "That's a strange amount...Where did that number come from?" she asked the lawyer.

"I think once my client is permitted the opportunity to provide her story, that it's going to become apparent as to how that number was arrived at. I agree with you, it's a very low number, and it flies in the face of accusations by people that somehow she was trying to shake down then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, and I think once she's able to tell her story and the American people can gauge her veracity, people are going to come away very impressed by her and with no doubt she is very, very credible."

Meanwhile, Avenatti said six other women have come to him claiming that they, too, were paid to keep silent about their affairs with Donald Trump. He said he has not vetted their claims, but two of them claim to have confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements, as Daniels does. Avenatti said he doesn't yet know if those six women are telling the truth, but he insisted that his client is telling the truth.

President Trump has not said a word, in tweets or otherwise, about the alleged Daniels affair, although his spokesman said he has denied it.

But Sanders -- referring to a restraining order reportedly filed by Cohen to enforce the non-disclosure agreement and keep Daniels quiet -- told reporters earlier this month that that case had been "won in arbitration."

Trump's womanizing hardly comes as a shock to the American people, so the question for people on both sides of the Trump divide is whether and how any of this matters to anyone, anyway -- except as a means of further undermining Trump's presidency.

Starting 14 months ago, the politics of personal destruction has become a daily spectator sport in Washington, with liberal media outlets leading the charge.

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