In Bid To SLAPP Stormy Daniels, Trump Admits He Fucked Her

Earlier tonight, Trump’s SLAPP suit lawyer, Charles Harder, is now suing sex worker Stormy Daniels for $20 million, based on the claim that she violated the nondisclosure order with the signatory of the NDA 20 times.

Here’s the operative bit of the filing though.

In suing to enforce a nondisclosure agreement prohibiting Daniels from telling anyone the sad sack she fucked (and has videos fucking) is Donald Trump, Trump admitted that David Dennison, the guy she signed an NDA with, is him, Donald Trump.

77 replies
  1. Rapier says:

    This will not work against a publicity hound Dave. Not on this big stage. It doesn’t even rank as a Hail Mary. Every single word on this from now on is a + for Stormy and a – for Dave.

  2. terian says:

    Oh boy. As an elderly woman, I still have a difficult time w/the degradation our country has suffered. I read the birth rate is down due to a couple of factors but one other is the stress in today’s world. I don’t know if we can recover after just one year w/this asshole. I can’t imagine 3 more years of him and his scum.

  3. Toby says:

    If “EC is aware of at least 20 instances” in which Stormy breached the confidentiality provisions and “each breach” leads to $1,000,000 in damages, couldn’t the unintended consequence of admitting that Trump fucked her and also revealing that huge damages will be sought in arbitration be simply that Stormy now says “fuck me? No, fuck you!” and breaches, bigly, one last time by just releasing the tape after selling it to the highest bidder? In other words, by revealing this hardball strategy don’t they run the risk Stormy will now decide to retaliate by just selling the tape rather than negotiating a much better deal to buy her silence? (and to keep the tape safely hidden away)

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      You can do a lot of breaching with a $100m legal defense fund, which is what she’d get if that happened. Also, the orange idiot just violated the NDA.

      I think Josh Marshall is right that Avenetti has the OODA loop interference strategy nailed down for now, though having to deal with Chucky Hardon (and whoever’s paying his bills) may raise the stakes a little. The next week is going to be fun.

  4. bloopie2 says:

    You’re making me work on a Friday night, bah; I had to refresh my knowledge as to the term “sad sack”. The original Sad Sack (of WWII fame) wasn’t intended to be a horrible person, but instead an inept guy beset by the absurdities and humiliations of military life–more of a Joe Btfsplk kind of character. In that sense, I felt that you were giving Sad Sack a bad name by associating the term with Trump. But then I read that the term “sad sack” was a shortening of the GI slang term “sad sack of shit”. So, spot on. I guess there’s nothing this horrible human being won’t do for money?

    • orionATL says:

      joe btfsplk?  one of my favorite parables from the  li’l abner comic strip. the guy with the dark, rainy cloud perpetually over his head whose presence guarantees misfortune to all in the vicinity?

      trump as a joe brfsplk? of course.  in every business deal he was ever involved in – ask those who ever  worked for trump or lent him money.

      president trump as the epitomy of a political joe btfsplk – his mere presence,  due to a cursed election, placing a curse on the nation? of curse! 

  5. Trip says:

    Also shitty move to fire McCabe. They gave no report, and waited until the final hours to screw him. And full disclosure, I’m not some fanboy. This has politics and vengeance written all over it, even IF there was justification for the firing.

    There is a pattern in this administration which can’t be overlooked.

      • Rayne says:

        I think it’s more important to look at Fox and Friends’ morning programming to see if F-and-F “told” Trump that McCabe would be fired today.

      • Desider says:

        I kept watching the news, but was expecting it to slip out at 5:55pm to avoid the news cycle, but couldn’t control their consoirators.
        Once again (like the House Intelligence release), they’ve lost all touch for how to do a proper ratf*ck – gang that can’t shoot straight, self-obsessed amateurs.

        • Trip says:

          They were SO excited, they couldn’t contain themselves. Same with Trump, and tweeting about it last night.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Trump just fucked McCabe, too.

        Vindictively firing Andrew McCabe on Friday evening is a routine White House tactic to bury that news.  We’ve seen it countless times.  It is not to bury the Daniels suit.  That suit is designed to attract maximum press covereage, which the president assumes will always and everywhere benefit him. He’s likely to be wrong about that.

        Firing Comey was firing a political appointee.  Trump is now reaching into the career civil service ranks to humiliate and fire, to financially punish career professionals.  Director Wray has lost a lot of support from the rank and file owing to his failure to protect a career civil servant from abuse of process.  What can happen to the No. 2 can happen to all of them.

        Little Beauregard Sessions never had that support from the FBI or the DoJ employees.  Trump is the only guy whose views he cares about.  SAD for him!

        Trump has succeeded in forcing one more witnesss to the events surrounding the Comey firing into the ranks of “disgruntled former employees”.  It’s the go-to status preferred by every HR “professional” and CEO for employees whose whistleblowing could harm them.  They think it destroys their credibility and protects the CEO from accountability.  Trump is likely to find that it does the opposite here, too.

        • Trip says:

          The Cult of Trump is positively orgasmic about it. They are adding “facts” to the firing, such as “McCabe personally manufactured the Trump/Russia connection and investigation”.

          Comey’s book is coming out exactly a month from today. We all know how insane that will be.

        • orionATL says:

          eoh –

          – pointing out that the mccabe firing is the firing of a career civil servant is a very important distinction to make amidst the spate of recent firings.

          i have no idea if hatch act will be invoked or has any teeth in it to deal with this type of situation (vindictive firing). it is the case though that the hatch act’s history was dealing with abusive use of federal hirings as synecures for relatives, pals, supporters, bagmen, etc. there should be something there though since the negative of abuse of hiring privilege is the firing privilege.

          – “…  the ranks of “disgruntled former employees”.  It’s the go-to status preferred by every HR “professional” and CEO for employees whose whistleblowing could harm them…”

          thanks for pointing out this overused and unconvincing public relations, HR, and lawyerly lying tactic – often purely a tactic with none but formal truth behind the charge.

  6. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    FWIW, I had to do some driving today, so listened to a podcast by TalkingPointsMemo’s Josh Marshall interview Stormy Daniel’s new attorney, Avenatti (3/16/18). It sounds like Stormy’s *previous* attorney — the guy who set her up to sign the NDA back in 2016 — happens to be an associate of Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. Arguably, Stormy was fucked literally by Trump, then figuratively by the attorneys. There’s a twist on menage a trois’

    In a TPM podcast from 3/15, it sounds as if there is some kind of linkage between Cohen (owner of a fortune in NY city taxi medallions) and Stormy Daniels… but maybe someone else around here will hit the podcasts at iTunes and figure it all out before I listen to the rest of the story on Saturday.

    Link to TPM page for the 3/16 podcast with Avenatti: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/podcasts/the-josh-marshall-podcast/extra-episode-stormy-daniels-lawyer-michael-avenatti-talks-trump-associates-threatening-his-client-and-more

    Meanwhile, about the payola: the House Intel Comm shut down just as they were getting a wee bit too close to the dirty Deutsche laundry. http://wallstreetonparade.com/2018/03/the-deutsche-bank-trump-connection-why-house-probe-abruptly-shut-down/
    Deutsche, one presumes, is where at least some of the Stormy $130,000 payola was transacted.
    One hopes that Eliot Spitzer is happily pouring himself a very dry vermouth and savoring all this tawdry scandal 8^}

    FWIW, when I went to TPM to fetch the Stormy Daniels audio link for this comment, lo and behold, Sessions has fired McCabe. Trump’s vindictiveness meter must be off the charts on a day when CBS has announced that it will air Stormy Daniel’s descriptions of Trump’s [aka ‘Dennison’s’] sexual perversions on “60 Minutes” the evening of 3/25. Booyah!

    It appears that Trump is pissed about being caught fucking Stormy, so he screwed a former FBI Director out of pension benefits. This is not at all surprising for a man as perverted as ‘David Dennison’ appears to be. No doubt further puerile, prurient details are yet to be revealed.
    Interesting times.

    • orionATL says:

      ROTL –

      thanks for the “wall street on parade” article about deutsce bank, money laundering, trump finances, house select intel comm shutting down its investigation, and trump’s vindictive, schoolyard boy dissing of representative maxine waters for asking deutsche bank for info about all these shinanigans.

  7. Trip says:

    One more question, if Trump never signed the agreement, said he wasn’t a party to the agreement, how does he become an injured party through the breach? Shouldn’t Cohen be suing her? He paid her.

    • orionATL says:

      oh, trump signed it all right, trip :)

      only as one of his many fake names, david dennison.

      since fraud is in the air evererwhere right now, tell me, was trump not defrauding dear stormy?

      • Rayne says:

        “David Dennison” didn’t sign it. The agreement was written with Trump aka Dennison as a party, but it was not signed by either Trump or “Dennison.” See:

        NDA signatures

        But this is the crux — Michael Cohen paid Stormy a.k.a. “Peggy Peterson” using funds laundered from the campaign, to fulfill the terms of an incomplete NDA. Is the NDA legal? Did Cohen’s payment satisfy “Dennison’s” obligations?

        Not to mention the sketchy notarization of these signatures…

        • orionATL says:

          whoa, rayne. thanks.

          i read historians just love folks who will take the trouble to go all the way back to “primary sources” and so do i. doing so saves a lot of uninformed and hence pointless discussion.

          so my question again for bmaz is: how can trump plead for arbitration when multiple frauds (or simple political campaign illegalities) may have been perpetrated on the paramour by a lawyer who for yearscwasn trump’s righthand legal hound dog? i read that NDA’s never trump :)) questions of criminal conduct.

  8. Bob Conyers says:

    Videos? I heard an interview with the lawyer Avenatti on NPR where he was asked about any kind of recordings, photos or written materials and he was evasive. I got the impression they might have something they would reveal on 60 Minutes, but I wasn’t clear what it was and whether it would go farther than just being more evidence of the affair, like a note or photo of her holding hands with him. Did I miss something?

  9. TheraP says:

    “malignant deviancy” – a term Trump richly deserves – the cruelty he demonstrates – like mental torture – he’s inflicting on all of us.

    The term “malignant deviancy” seems to have been coined by Paul Rosenzweig in a rueful post at Lawfare:

    https://lawfareblog.com/trump-malignancy-and-book-will-not-be-written

    As I told someone this afternoon: “I never thought I’d be rooting for a porn star!” (This really seems to be getting to him. And he’s making others pay for it. Will he truly ‘lose it’ over a porn star? A woman he can’t control?)

      • Rayne says:

        No, but I am wondering how this is going to go over in a state with some of the strongest anti-SLAPP attitudes, strong enough to drive anti-SLAPP legislation, especially when the NDA may not have been executed or worse.

        So stupid, too…the discovery process is going to make hash out of Cohen, and Stormy will be free to talk about this suit as it unfolds in court.

        • Trip says:

          Someone on TV said they are hoping to bury it back in arbitration; maybe pay her off to keep quiet, etc. I have no clue how accurate this is, or what the process is.  The federal court may be of some advantage, for some reason, for the plaintiff, or maybe her attorney is green at that level. Since lawyers here often say talking TV head layers are wrong, I do not know if they had a strong point.

          IIRC, her attorney is not working pro bono, so maybe they figure if it’s dragged out, he’ll quit and give up (when her resources are exhausted)?

          • bmaz says:

            There is no question but that the defendants are dying to have this case remanded to private arbitration. And there is also no question but that federal courts are much stronger on enforcing arbitration clauses than state courts, as a whole. So, all of this is fairly predictable. But Avenatti is very far from green, he is extremely accomplished and savvy. He knew this was possible, and would have been ready for it. He is also a bulldog, doubt he is going away. He has a history of taking on the powerful, like the NFL and major drug companies, and doing so successfully.

            • Trip says:

              Thank you for your input.

              *I meant lawyers, not layers, in my original comment. Maybe layers is apropos tho, here, lol.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Exactly.  Trump has a shot at winning this only if he gets to arbitration.  It would put a cone of silence around the proceeding and its outcome.

              Once in state or federal court, there’s still the issue of what the court has to find in order to send the case to arbitration.  The precedents Trump supporters have cited depend on the admitted existence of an underlying contract.  Absent that, a court has to make the determination that under state law a contract exists between named parties before its provisions, including the agreement to arbitrate, come into force.

              Cohen’s drafting also leaves room for maneuver.  He did not use the ordinarily magic term “exclusive” when referring to binding arbitration.  And he did not use the usual term of art, referencing a contract’s “formation, interpretation, breach and termination”.

              • orionATL says:

                i don’t see how there can be an effective “cone of silence” put around this trump loves harlot story by any court, bmaz.

                by the time this gets to arbitration, involving unreimbursed or secretively reimbursed payments by david dennison to Stormy Daniels, the millions of women citizens, who are the outraged voters leading the democratic party’s blitz in elections nationwide, will have all the reinforcing info about prez trump they might need – our president is the quintessential male chauvinist pig who goes by the freshman/sophmore boy’s brag “find’em, feel ’em, fuck’ em, and forget ’em.

                • orionATL says:

                  “you’re wonderful. i can’t get enough of you. i love you. i’ll love you forever, darling ((sotto voce), unless you break the NDA). “

              • Bob Conyers says:

                I’m not a lawyer, but I assume even arbitration doesn’t create a perfect cone of silence, does it?

                I wouldn’t be surprised if Avenatti or another attorney has a client who is waiting to test the waters, and just about the first person they would want to interview would be Daniels. Is there any kind of arbitration or NDA that could possibly stop this?

                I assume that arbitration clauses are in other agreements signed by other women, but considering Cohen’s sloppy work, I have to assume even if Daniels loses, another one of those agreements will be breakable, at which point doesn’t this all begin to unravel?

                My understanding of Weinberg’s problems began this way — as long as no serious challenges arose, he could keep his problems under control, but once multiple women began to speak out, he knew he’d never be able to keep things under wraps legally.

      • Dan Riley says:

        Did nobody actually read the motion?  It isn’t a new suit at all, it’s a motion in Clifford’s suit against Trump.  Clifford’s suit, seeking relief from the NDA, was filed in California Superior Court.  Trump is seeking removal to the (nearest) US District Court on diversity grounds.  California State courts are notoriously hostile to both NDAs and arbitration (there’s several SCOTUS cases about this), so Trump’s legal wants her suit in federal courts ASAP.  The $20M figure comes up as part of the justification that the grounds for removal are met, they aren’t (yet) asking for that in court.

        • Rayne says:

          I didn’t read the suit, thank you for explaining that so nicely. I’m afraid I was occupied with other reading combined with the occasional troll swatting. It does explain why the suit was filed in CA, and why Trump wants it out of there.

          (Interesting situation — it could also lay out some groundwork for any of Hollywood’s abuse victims who’ve signed NDAs.)

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Some of us did read the pleadings.

            Your last point is a big one.  There are presumably many thousands of NDAs in existence relating to Hollywood’s movie business.  A lot of money paid to shut up and go away.  The same technique is used when corporate executives fail and are “fired”, but paid enormous amounts of money to shut up and go away, so that corporate and boardroom dirty linen doesn’t end up being washed in public.  H-P comes to mind.  Precedents regarding the validity of NDAs and arbitration agreements related to them will be a big deal in California.  And I agree with the observation that federal courts are much more amenable to them than California state courts.

            • Dev Null says:

              Not sure if this is relevant, or alternatively if I’m not following this thread, but a dKos front-pager posted “Trump admits to being Dennison”, only to pull back the claim on these grounds. (However she found what amounted to an admission in the body of the filing.)

              In the end, I doubt that legal correctness will affect public perception: AFAICT, it’s now accepted CW that Trump and Dennison are one and the same.

      • emptywheel says:

        How does counselor come down when he catches me playing loose with a legal term for a damned good headline, I wonder?

  10. Rapier says:

    Among people you probably would not like to be right now is Melania Trump.  It’s one thing to be worldly about matters of marital fidelity among the wealthy and stoic about the occasional publicity surrounding revelations of same.  It’s another thing to have it sprayed across every internet front page in the world, day after day after day.

    No matter how much the traditional roles of marriage are polite fictions among our betters how much humiliation can one person take? Well let me suggest in Melania’s case an infinite amount if she still has family and extended family back in former Yugoslavia, if you get my drift.

    • Trip says:

      I’m kind of surprised that no one in the press has called her office for comment.  Not that I would expect her to offer any. But her silence is really echoing through the canyons.  This is typically a situation where vulturistic tabloids would be feasting on the carcass, including those of the injured parties.

      • Red River says:

        Really, what can she say? Nothing negative – she’s probably got an NDA too. It’s not going to play well if she says she supports her husband’s rights to fool around with other women.

        • Trip says:

          I’m kind of surprised that no one in the press has called her office for comment.  Not that I would expect her to offer any.

        • Rayne says:

          I imagine there’s an NDA embedded in her pre-nup, and the pre-nup may contain terms which terminate her parental rights and custody of any children if she violates the pre-nup terms. I also wonder if he has leverage like photos/videos he would use against any attempt at custody. After two previous marriages and ugly divorces, he’s probably ratcheted down marital controls.

  11. aubrey mcfate says:

    A quibble, maybe one that goes to my old-fashioned definition of “fucked”, but I don’t think this is evidence at all that Donald Dennison or David Donaldson or whoever “fucked” anyone. This could be video of him in a diaper, or being germophilically transgressive by having Stormy smear excrement on him with a rubber spatula/dildo…we’ll have to wait for the tale of the tape.

    • bmaz says:

      There was both the In Touch and Slate interviews prior to the NDA where she explicitly described the sexual activity. So, yes, there was ‘FUCKING’.

      • Trip says:

        Isn’t the timing of the NDA highly problematic for Trump?  Clearly, she signed the NDA going forward from last year (rather 2016). But it placed no limitations on what she already shared and it doesn’t extend to other people.  Which, theoretically, she could have already given copies of photos, correspondence, video, or anything which may exist, to friends, family, and so on. How would/could Trump prove the dates of sharing, if this could have happened at the time of the affair?  None of her friends would be bound to this agreement, right? She can’t control the actions or information that was already out in the wild before the NDA.

        Further, if someone did actually threaten bodily harm, isn’t this something she could file a police report about? Criminal acts are not protected by NDAs.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL We’ll try not to kink shame here. By “fucking” I assume Marcy meant “having relations with that woman” combined with suppression — figurative “fucking,” not necessarily literal.

  12. aubrey mcfate says:

    A general question for lawyers: is there any chance that this 60 Minutes interview will not air? — Not necessarily thinking that Trump wins on any legal grounds (thought last night’s story is that they are trying to change the jurisdiction of finding a reliably Republican judge), but that they somehow give Stormy something she wants or that they pressure CBS into calling it off?

    • Pete says:

      I would suggest that CBS and others just promote the heck out of the pending interview so that if pressure is applied and it is pulled it’s a massive shit storm in and of itself.

  13. Rapier says:

    There’s a practical limit to how many court cases Trump can enter. As a short term strategy I suppose one can throw all the shit against the wall but each instance only serves to do the exact opposite of what he needs. That is for everybody to forget about it. I think it comes down to a ‘if you find yourself in a hole stop digging’ situation.

    It costs money too.

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Yea, the existence of NDAs in the run-up to the election raises the issue of campaign finance violations.

    Technically, this is EC, acting with the constent of DD, not DD acting directly.  More to follow.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Brent Blakely of Blakely Law Group, Manhattan Beach, CA, signed the pleading on behalf of defendant Essential Consultants, LLC.  The pleading’s captioned, however, names two defendants: EC and Donald J. Trump aka David Dennison.

      This pleading for removal is submitted on behalf of EC.  EC and Trump are named in the underlying suit by Daniels.

      Trump is implicated in this pleading by granting his “consent” to the action for removal by EC.  He has not joined EC in this action or explicitly submitted to the jurisdiction of either the state or federal court in California.

      Trump’s “consent”, however, begs the question of in what capacity is granting consent.  If his consent relates to the action for removal, is he submitting to the federal court’s jurisdiction indirectly rather than responding as a party?

      If his consent is predicated on the underlying contract, that would require that he be a party or a beneficiary to it.  He did not sign the NDA submitted in the state court’s action.  In fact, he has denied having an affair with Daniels and knowledge of the NDA, which should preclude his being a beneficary of the contract.

      Blakely’s action is dependent on their being a contract, which includes an apparently binding, but not explicitly exclusive agreement to use binding arbitration to settle disputes.  It is a matter of state law whether a contract exists or not and between which parties.  Who will decide those issues?  The state or federal court.  Surely not the arbitrator.

      • bmaz says:

        Yes, Trump has formally appeared via joinder notice filed by Chuck Harder, and indicated they will be joining the removal attempt.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Promises, promises.  Any thoughts on the contract formation questions and who decides them?

            • bmaz says:

              Oh, hey, sorry. Yes, a few. Think will be decided by the Central District of  California as I expect Avenatti/Daniels will attempt to litigate that as part and parcel of the removal notice and their objection thereto. At least I would. And Avenatti has been crystal clear that he anticipated a removal attempt possibility and was ready for it.

              I am not sure who wins on the “Trump/DD didn’t sign” issue, but it is a valid one. If he didn’t know or participate in the matter, as he has publicly claimed (via Sanders), then how can he be a viable party that had a meeting of the minds? If he did know, and  was knowledgeable, his failure to ratify the agreement with a signature seems problematic.

              Secondly, am not sure they really want to try to enforce the liquidated damages clause, because there is a very good argument that it is unenforceable for being unconscionable as an unreasonable penalty in proportion to any concept of actual damages. And Avenatti will attack on that ground too, and rightfully so.

              Thirdly, think there is an argument that any breach of the agreement is mutual in light of Trump and his agents having also blown “confidentiality”.

              Lastly, will  bet dollars to donuts that Avenatti is setting up an argument that entry into the agreement was a fraud due to coercion from Cohen and conspiracy with Daniels’ lawyer at the time, Keith Davidson.

              No clue how it all sorts out, but Daniels has some very cognizable arguments.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                Many thanks.  Very useful background. It’s hard to see how Trump’s interest in this NDA survives if he was not a signatory and his claimed lack of knowledge about it precludes his being a beneficiary of it.  Not much left of the “agreement” if Trump’s out; virtually all of its provisions require Trump’s involvement, including his mutual release of Daniels.

                All those questions beg to be answered by the district court before it could rationally send anything to arbitration.

                I agree that Avenatti must have expected removal to federal court.  It seems inevitable, absent a default judgment in state court.  As he says, this is not gonna go away for a long time.

                If I recall correctly, Harder signed his intent to join the removal action on March 6.  Blakely’s reference to Don’s consent would seem irrelevant without the Don affirming it. How much time does he have to file what he promised on Don’s behalf?  Would the district court act on the removal request without it?

  15. Bay State Librul says:

    I believe that Trump will fire Mueller.

    From the Beast,

    “I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier,” Dowd then wrote. …..

    • orionATL says:

      i saw that article and read it with a sense of shadenfraud, given my oftstated suspicions of facebook and its leaders as another deceitful, janus-faced corporation with one face turned internally to grabbing all the money they can from the table, and the other (long-necked baby face) turned toward the public telling us polloi that there’s nothing to worry about with the outcome of the 2016 federal elections because we are just too smart to ever be taken in by what’s facebook. and then there’s the excusing fiction that what was on facebook re those federal elections wasn’t very much or very important considering the entire volume of facebook messages. what calculated PR crap!

      what are the facebook apologists going to come up with now?

      • orionATL says:

        i think the guardian and the observer are being sued by cambridge analytica and its parent corp, both corps bearing the fingerprints of rightwing goofball robert mercer. i noticed mercer recently left the hedge fund in which he was a major partner and also signed over the ca, etc. corporate holdings to his daughter rebekka.

    • Trip says:

      I long for the death of Facebook. It couldn’t happen soon enough and to ‘nicer’ guys.

      We all knew the election muckraking would circle back to Cambridge Analytica.

      You might be on to something with this being connected to the Stormy Daniels’ case. Richard Painter was just on TV, and he had a really good point. Trump is indulging in this ‘battle’ with Daniels because it makes him seem more ‘ordinary’ than the other investigations going on. Past presidents and politicians  have had affairs, Trump’s behavior with women is already known, this was consensual, so in a sense, it is ‘normalizing’ him.

      • Rayne says:

        It’s not “normalizing” him — it’s a display of testosterone to his white nationalist base which sees his indirect display of sexual prowess as something to which they aspire. It’s feral, animalistic, like a primate beating on his chest in a territorial display: Look at my ability to attract and keep mates. They don’t even want to shut up about it. It’s all he has since he’s rather stupid and now pudgy and bald beneath that thing glued on the top of his head. He doesn’t want the base to think his winning had anything to do with cold, calculating data crunching by others; he wants them to think he attracted voters like prospective mates.

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