Slate’s Jacob Weisberg reported that in 2016, Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, told him that in 2006 she and Trump began a sexual relationship that lasted nearly a year. The Daily Beast published a story citing friends of Daniels saying she had told them about a fling with Trump. In Touch published an interview with Daniels from 2011 in which she herself described having a sexual affair with Trump. And Mother Jones has learned that Daniels years earlier talked about having had a sexual relationship with Trump—and in lurid detail. According to 2009 emails between political operatives who were at the time advising Daniels on a possible political campaign, the adult film actor and director claimed that her affair with Trump included an unusual act: spanking him with a copy of Forbes magazine.
In early 2009, Daniels announced that she was considering challenging Sen. David Vitter, the Louisiana Republican who two years earlier had been snared in a sex scandal. Vitter’s phone number was discovered in the records of the so-called D.C. Madam, who ran a prostitution ring in the nation’s capital. Vitter, who now is a lobbyist, was a prominent social conservative who opposed abortion and gay marriage. Daniels, who grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told reporters she wanted to highlight his hypocrisy. She offered up a potential campaign slogan: “Stormy Daniels: Screwing people honestly.”