Trump’s Tweet About Stormy Daniels Backfired, and Now She’s Suing for Defamation

Read the lawsuit here.

Olivier Doulier/ZUMA

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Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who claims she had a sexual relationship with President Donald Trump, filed a new lawsuit Monday accusing the president of making false statements that “denigrate and attack” her character. 

The lawsuit specifically cites an April 18 tweet in which Trump referred to Daniels’ previous claims that a man physically threatened her in 2011 to stop her from publicly discussing her affair with Trump. In the tweet, Trump called those allegations a “total con job.” According to the lawsuit, Trump’s tweet attempted to portray Daniels as a “liar.” Daniels is already seeking a similar defamation judgment against Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer who paid Daniels $130,000 to keep her from publicly discussing the affair.

“Mr. Trump’s defamatory statement was false because Ms. Clifford was in fact threatened in 2011 as she has recounted and the sketch was the result of her recollection regarding the appearance of the assailant,” the lawsuit states. The suit argues that Trump’s tweet exposed Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, to “hatred, contempt, ridicule, and shame.”

The lawsuit adds to an ongoing legal challenge by Daniels that seeks to release her from a legal agreement preventing her from publicly discussing her alleged sexual relationship with Trump. ABC News reports that the Trump campaign has spent $228,000 to pay for some of Cohen’s legal fees, an arrangement that could violate campaign finance laws. Earlier this month, the FBI raided Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room and seized documents, some of which related to Cohen’s $130,000 payment to keep Daniels from speaking out about the affair.

The complaint filed Monday is below.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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