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Daniels releases sketch of thug who allegedly threatened her

CNN's Athena Jones reports.

Posted: Apr 18, 2018 3:23 PM
Updated: Apr 18, 2018 3:23 PM

On Wednesday morning, Donald Trump sent a tweet raising questions about the sketch of a man who allegedly harassed a porn star to keep her from talking about a sexual encounter with the current President of the United States aka Donald Trump.

Whew.

Go back and read that sentence again. Maybe read it twice more.

It's yet another example of Trump's willingness to bust through not only what's considered normal and appropriate behavior for a president but also what's considered normal and appropriate behavior for anyone.

In response to a tweet from a Twitter handle known as "DeplorablyScottish" which showed side-by-side images of the sketch Stormy Daniels produced of her alleged harasser and a picture of Daniels and a man who is purportedly her ex-boyfriend, Trump tweeted this: "A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!"

So.

The President of the United States is alleging that Daniels -- who has said she and Trump were intimate in the mid 2000s -- is making up her story that she was approached by a man in 2011 who threatened her and her young daughter if she continued to talk about her time with Trump.

Here's the thing: There's no doubt that Daniels' unveiling of the sketch, which she and her ever-present lawyer Michael Avenatti did in an appearance on "The View" Tuesday afternoon, was a publicity stunt.

This is a sketch based on a 2011 encounter. While Avenatti told CNN's Jake Tapper that he has a sense of who the man is -- and that the person may be "indirectly" tied to Trump -- it seems unlikely that this sketch is what proves or disproves Daniels' broader allegations.

That said! How could Trump possibly know whether or not a man harassed Daniels in 2011? Was he in the parking lot in which the alleged incident happened? If not, there is no possible way he could possess factual proof that Daniels is making up this story.

Given that he lacks that proof, Trump on Twitter is simply using his massive bullhorn -- 51 million people strong -- to suggest that a woman is making up a story about being harassed. Which is remarkable.

Of course, for Trump, anything and everything related to Daniels is tied up in her allegation that the two had sex in the mid 2000s -- a charge he has denied. (Worth noting: Trump attorney/fixer Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 to keep her from telling the story of her alleged affair with Trump during the heat of the 2016 campaign.)

But, that context shouldn't excuse what Trump is doing here. He is using his massive social media platform to discredit a woman alleging she was harassed. He is doing so entirely without proof that her allegation is false. (If Trump has proof Daniels is lying, he should come forward with it immediately.)

That's the sort of behavior that in the past we would have condemned out of hand. Now, and with the President of the United States doing it, people accept it as a matter of course. They -- and we -- shouldn't.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 489116

Reported Deaths: 6614
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1014901592
Ramsey43327810
Dakota36619394
Anoka33496391
Washington22208262
Stearns18822202
St. Louis14887265
Scott13403107
Wright12609116
Olmsted1185990
Sherburne878574
Carver787641
Clay695588
Rice677691
Blue Earth601035
Kandiyohi581274
Crow Wing523582
Chisago501745
Otter Tail486071
Benton450990
Winona419749
Mower410831
Douglas394568
Goodhue389069
Nobles387247
Polk345063
McLeod341250
Beltrami338951
Morrison327747
Becker314842
Itasca314646
Lyon313845
Isanti309456
Steele303611
Carlton300449
Freeborn286424
Pine283216
Nicollet262441
Todd249730
Brown248237
Le Sueur238120
Mille Lacs229447
Cass221224
Waseca210417
Meeker208134
Martin190829
Wabasha18733
Roseau181017
Hubbard161041
Houston158214
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Fillmore13969
Pennington138716
Chippewa136935
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Wadena131420
Faribault124917
Aitkin119133
Sibley118310
Watonwan11828
Rock116314
Kanabec108820
Pipestone101824
Yellow Medicine97717
Murray9548
Jackson94610
Swift87818
Pope8165
Marshall78615
Stevens7478
Lake74218
Clearwater72014
Lac qui Parle68716
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
Big Stone5173
Lincoln5122
Grant4928
Norman4798
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson41021
Red Lake3615
Traverse3115
Lake of the Woods2221
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 337676

Reported Deaths: 5494
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk52087560
Linn19512317
Scott17167212
Black Hawk14970293
Woodbury13847214
Johnson1317075
Dubuque12450196
Dallas1022593
Pottawattamie9897146
Story965045
Warren514976
Clinton502684
Cerro Gordo501383
Webster495788
Sioux480369
Marshall465273
Des Moines428461
Muscatine426393
Buena Vista413237
Wapello4059110
Jasper387767
Plymouth368978
Lee354653
Marion341571
Jones285155
Henry279837
Bremer270555
Carroll266948
Crawford253635
Boone244330
Benton241154
Washington239547
Mahaska215746
Jackson210339
Dickinson204240
Tama203065
Kossuth198655
Delaware186240
Clay184425
Winneshiek183628
Fayette179335
Page178119
Buchanan177829
Wright174531
Hamilton173942
Cedar172723
Hardin170239
Harrison167670
Clayton160254
Butler159331
Mills148520
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145741
Allamakee144848
Madison143218
Iowa140723
Hancock138030
Grundy132430
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129611
Cass129651
Jefferson128634
Appanoose123247
Louisa122644
Mitchell120740
Chickasaw119915
Union119331
Sac118818
Shelby117634
Emmet115340
Humboldt113725
Franklin109719
Guthrie109628
Palo Alto101721
Howard99722
Unassigned9720
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Clarke95120
Keokuk92429
Monroe90028
Ida81832
Adair81630
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Davis76623
Monona76527
Greene73110
Lucas72221
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Taylor64112
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Fremont5619
Van Buren53718
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