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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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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