Like many of us, MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle, feels disgust that President Trump’s cavalcade of scandals has rendered almost insignificant his creation of a shell corporation to pay $130,000 for the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels who alleges they had an affair shortly after his marriage to Melania.
Ruhle spoke for most Americans when she said:
Call me a prude, but the naive woman that I am somehow believed people might not feel good about someone running for president who had an affair with a porn star with a new baby at home and that might affect how they thought of that person in terms of being a world leader.
The “Velshi and Ruhle” star elaborated on the facts of the case:
The Wall Street Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch, said one of Trump’s lawyers paid Daniels before the election . . . The payment is said to have violated campaign laws. A group, Common Cause, argues the payments amount to a campaign expense since the purpose was to cover-up a potentially damaging story. By not disclosing the defense, the group argues the campaign broke the law.
Trump lawyer Michael Cohen said the suit from watchdog group Common Cause, “is baseless, along with the allegation that President Trump filed a false report to the Federal Election Commission.”
Ruhle was having none of Cohen’s weak argument. She enjoined NBC News legal analyst Danny Cevallos, “First, have you ever paid $130,000 to somebody for no reason?”
“Uh, were not talking about me today, so technically no,” said Cevallos, playing along.
To which Ruhle replied, turning to the camera for comic effect:
“Anyone out there in the world, anyone wants to pay anybody $130,000 for no reason, call me. I’m here to take it.”
Though she was joking, her point proves astute.
According the Wall Street Journal, during the campaign, Cohen set up a shell company in Delaware, Essential Consulting, and used it to pay $130,000 to “someone” for “something” that former top Trump campaign officials (most of whom are now fired, indicted, convicted, or under investigation for conspiracy against the U.S., money laundering, obstruction of justice, and other high crimes) have yet to explain.
Ruhle’s reasoning offers food for thought. If the Trump team had not paid for Stormy Daniels’ silence and she had come forward publicly during the campaign, Americans would have had even more reasons not to vote for Trump than they already did.
However, if mocking the disabled, bragging about sexual assault, attacking minorities, and maintaining the option to use nuclear war against our NATO allies did not deter his voters, then porn star hush money might have proven no more of a deterrent than threatening to “shoot someone on 5th Ave” did.
Although 3 million more voters chose Hillary Clinton than chose Trump, the tallies were close enough that he took the electoral college.
Now that Americans have had a taste of the Lowlife-in-Chief, he and his party have lost their luster even with their former supporters — a fact voters must remember when they march to the polls in 2018 and 2020.
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