The legal, political and personal battle between President Trump and Stormy Daniels, the actress who says she slept with him in 2006, took a predictable turn on Tuesday in an exchange of insults on Twitter over her looks and his anatomy.
It began when Trump responded to the news that a federal judge in California had tossed a lawsuit brought against him by Daniels by misspelling her name, disapproving her appearance and threatening legal action against her and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti.
“‘Federal Judge throws out Stormy Danial’s lawsuit versus Trump. Trump is entitled to full legal fees,’” Trump tweeted, apparently quoting from a Fox News segment. “Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas. She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con!”
Daniels responded to Trump with a tweet of her own.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president,” she tweeted. “In addition to his … umm … shortcomings, he has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self-control on Twitter AGAIN! And perhaps a penchant for bestiality. Game on, Tiny.”
Avenatti responded, too.
“You are a disgusting misogynist and an embarrassment to the United States,” Avenatti tweeted. “Bring everything you have, because we are going to demonstrate to the world what a complete shyster and liar you are. How many other women did you cheat on your wife with while you had a baby at home?”
Earlier this year, Daniels sued Trump for defamation after the president suggested that a man who she said threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot was “nonexistent.” Daniels said the man approached her and her young daughter in 2011 after she had agreed to tell her story about the alleged tryst to a tabloid magazine. Daniels and Avenatti unveiled a composite sketch of the man on ABC’s “The View.” Trump, in turn, called it “a total con job.”
On Monday, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero dismissed Daniels’s suit, ruling that Trump’s “rhetorical hyperbole” is protected by the First Amendment. He also ordered Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, to pay Trump’s legal fees.
“No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than a total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels,” Trump attorney Charles Harder said in an emailed statement.
Avenatti and Daniels are appealing Otero’s ruling.
Daniels named Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen in a different lawsuit, alleging she was pressured into signing a nondisclosure agreement in October 2016 to prevent her from speaking publicly about the sexual relationship she says had with Trump. In return, Daniels was paid $130,000 — a payment Cohen initially said he enabled without Trump’s knowledge to protect the then-Republican nominee.
Daniels did eventually speak publicly about her relationship with Trump. In a March interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” said she met Trump at a July 2006 golf tournament and had consensual sex with him in his hotel suite.
At the time, Trump had been married to Melania Trump for over a year; their son, Barron, was less than 5 months old.
And in a memoir published last month, Daniels described Trump’s genitalia in graphic detail.