A classic mafia style threat
It was 2011, and the adult film star Stephanie Clifford, better known as “Stormy Daniels”, had recently agreed to discuss her alleged sexual relationship with Donald Trump with In Touch magazine for $15,000. It happened someplace she could be expected to be found, at a certain time she could be expected there, she told Anderson Cooper in a ’60 Minutes’ interview on CBS Sunday night.
“I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter when a man walked up on me,” Clifford recalled, “taking, you know, the seats facing backwards in the backseat, diaper bag, you know, gettin’ all the stuff out. And a guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story’/”
“And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ And then he was gone.”
Body language is an interesting aspect of Clifford’s story. She looks straight ahead as she tells the story, at first, then as she gets to the threat, she unconsciously demonstrates his body language. Notably, when she’s not looking directly ahead, or imitating her assailant’s movements, her eyes flick downward, and to the left. Seated as she was across from Cooper, the camera filming her from that angle had to be shooting from behind the news anchor, over his shoulder.
Considering that, it means that Daniels was looking Cooper in the eyes as she told her story, which indicates truthfulness. But we’re taught as children to look people in the eye, out of respect, and to be taken seriously. But eyes flicking downward and to the left indicates accessing a memory, reliving an event. As does unconsciously re-enacting the moment. And so Clifford’s body language suggests that she’s either being absolutely truthful, or a good enough actress to break out of adult films, and win an Academy Award.
Asked if she took it as a threat, Clifford replied, “absolutely.”
“They CAN, make your life hell, in many ways…”
As well she should have. It was the classic organized crime threat, that bears the hallmarks of a professional job. It happened fast, in public, in broad daylight. In a place she could be expected, right when she would be expected there, showing her that he knew her patterns. That he knew where to find her, and when to find her there. It followed the classic “kind word and a gun” type script, worded to ostensibly be a threat to the principal target, and a compliment on their family that felt more like a threat against them. Exactly the kind of threat infamously used by organized crime, to which Trump has been repeatedly linked both in America, and Russia.
Here, in a dramatization from the film “The Untouchables”, is a depiction of the way infamous Al Capone thug Frank Nitti threatened famed lawman Elliot Ness, and his family, in the same manner:
Notice the common threads? Lying in wait. Proving you know about the person you’re threatening, and their family. Making a comment that is worded like a compliment, but in a tone that sounds like a threat. And then swiftly disappearing. It’s the classic mob technique, dating back nearly a century.
“I was rattled,” Clifford told Cooper, relating how she felt as she carried her baby daughter into the gym. “I remember going into the workout class. And my hands are shaking so much, I was afraid I was gonna drop her.”
Asked if she knew the man she said she did not, but that she would recognize him if she did.
The “60 Minutes” interview is the adult film actress’ first public statement confirming definitively that she did have a sexual affair with Donald Trump, which she says began in 2006, at a celebrity golf tourney in Lake Tahoe.
Asked by Cooper if she went to police Clifford replied no, saying she’d been afraid to. Asked why she signed a statement claiming the affair never happened, she told him she felt she had no choice. “They CAN, make your life hell, in many different ways,” was the exact phrasing that was used, Clifford told Cooper. “‘They”, being.” Cooper asked. Clifford replied that she didn’t know, but perhaps in some way Trump’s infamous “fixer”, Michael Cohen.
Watch the segment of the interview: