Attorney Michael Avenatti told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, was threatened with physical harm but refused to say whether the threat came from Trump or one of his associates.
“If Stormy Daniels comes out and says she was physically — let’s say that again, physically threatened arm — by either the president himself or somebody close, that — and it seems to be credible, that in and of itself would bring down this presidency,” said MSNBC contributor Donny Deutsch.
“Step back, we’re not watching a movie — it’s stunning,” Deutsch said. “What happened here 15 minutes ago is nothing short of stunning.”
“It changes the dynamic,” agreed co-host Mika Brzezinski.
“The notion that she was not just paid off but was essentially forced to take the payment,” Heilemann said, “and she was told that she had to take the money and shut up or she would be physically harmed, that in the last two weeks in a presidential campaign, where the stakes are who’s going to win the presidency in a month of October surprises, when Donald Trump is facing multiple allegations of assault and sexual harassment, that is a gargantuan story.”