The payment to keep Trump’s alleged affair a secret did not pay off. Instead, it highlighted the dangerous security issues of an administration in eternal crisis.

One month before the 2016 election, Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen purchased the silence of a porn star who allegedly had an affair with Trump.

Now, despite an attempt last month to deny the story — he dismissed the bombshell as “old, recycled reports” — Cohen has admitted he did pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep her quiet.

Cohen’s admission confirms this story is about far more than a salacious story of an illicit affair. It’s about whether the current occupant of the Oval Office was, and might still be, susceptible to blackmail. It’s already been the subject of concern about former and current members of Trump’s administration, given their questionable relationships and past behaviors, and how that vulnerability threatens America’s national security.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Daniels’ manager, Gina Rodriguez, believes Cohen violated the non-disclosure agreement made in 2016 to keep the affair quiet, and if Cohen can talk about it, so can Daniels.

“Everything is off now,” Rodriguez said, “and Stormy is going to tell her story.”

If Daniels does start spilling all the dirt on her affair with Trump, the efforts of Trump’s closest friends and enablers — including Fox News — to keep the story under wraps will have been for naught. Not to mention the six-figure waste of money that Cohen insists he paid out of his own pocket.

It also means that, in the midst of numerous investigations into Trump’s campaign having to do with its potential collusion with Russia, there could be a whole new slew of questions and even investigations about this payment.

The whole reason for Cohen’s sudden reversal and confession stems from a complaint filed with the Federal Elections Commission that charges the payment to Daniels was in fact an in-kind campaign contribution — and that Cohen might have violated the law.

Cohen insists he paid the money with no expectation of any kind of reimbursement and that neither the campaign nor Trump’s business had anything to do with it.

“I will always protect Mr. Trump,” Cohen added in a subsequent statement.

Trump and the White House have thus far largely dodged having to answer any questions about the alleged affair and the blackmail payout on his behalf. Mike Pence was asked about it in January and offered the awkward response that he wasn’t “going to comment on the latest baseless allegations against the president.”

The allegations seem a lot less baseless now that Trump’s attorney has admitted to some of them. And whether Trump, his campaign, his attorney, or anyone else in his inner circle broke the law, as some — including Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) — are suggesting is only part of the problem.

If Trump’s inner circle is quietly paying off people who have dirt on him, legal or not, it means the president of the United States could be the target of blackmail in the future.

So the real question, it seems now, is whether Trump himself is the biggest threat of all.


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