The controversy surrounding Stormy Daniels and her alleged relationship with Donald Trump was once dismissed as a fairly obscure presidential scandal, which many observers overlooked. But what may have once been seen as a salacious, tabloid-esque affair has since turned into a meaningful story about a president and his team paying hush money to a porn star and lying about it.
Indeed, it was also this story that led the president's former personal attorney to declare in court that he made illegal payments "in coordination with and at the direction of" of Donald Trump, directly implicating the president in a felony.
Yesterday, part of the case reached its apparent conclusion: a federal judge dismissed Daniels' defamation lawsuit against Trump, rejecting an argument that a presidential tweet damaged her reputation. And while the rest of the controversy is ongoing, including an examination of Trump's hush-money scheme, the president apparently thought today would be a good time to take a victory lap.
President Donald Trump lobbed a crass insult at Stormy Daniels on Tuesday, calling the adult film star "horseface" after a federal judge dismissed her defamation suit against him."Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas," Trump wrote in a tweet that also referred to a news article about the suit being tossed.
This, evidently, is how the president publicly communicates now. We've reached the point in American history at which the head of our executive branch, while lashing out at an alleged former lover, uses words like "horseface" to describe a woman he paid hush money to, in violation of federal law.
There's no shortage of angles to this, but it's worth taking a moment to appreciate how Donald Trump talks about women he disapproves of. He's comfortable, for example, calling Stormy Daniels "horceface." He went after MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski by claiming she had had a 'facelift.' He said after a GOP primary debate that Megyn Kelly "had blood coming out of her wherever.'
Soon after, in reference to rival candidate Carly Fiorina, Trump said, "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! .... I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"
A year later, Trump said of one of the women who accused him of sexual misconduct, "Would not be his first choice." The Republican's argument, in effect, was that he didn't find one of his accusers physically attractive, so we shouldn't believe her claims of sexual assault.
There is no defense for language like this.
As for today's missive, Stormy Daniels responded to the president online soon after, referring to Trump's "shortcomings," and adding, "Game on, Tiny."