In a panel discussion with CNN’s Erin Burnett and progressive commentator Joan Walsh, conservative Steve Cortes went down in flames trying to dismiss the Stormy Daniels scandal.
Cortes told the host that Daniels has proven to be a liar and has made contradictory statements. Thus, it’s obvious that whatever she has to say is pointless. Slut-shaming Daniels, Cortes argued that he would always take the word of the president over someone involved in pornography. Even if she is speaking the truth, however, Cortes argued that none of Trump’s supporters ever thought he was Mother Theresa.
“Certainly, if the president was aware of a payment made to her to help her silence in the election, that would be a crime and quite significant, I would argue,” Burnett said.
The national correspondent for The Nation argued that what Trump voters believe or want doesn’t matter.
“The law is paramount, Steve. And don’t ride Erin for not paying attention to the South Korea/North Korea break through,” Walsh said. “She just spent 54 minutes on it. If a crime is committed it’s going to matter, whether it matters to Trump voters or not. I am also fascinated by the fact that Jessica Drake shows up here. She can corroborate some of the Stormy Daniels story. Conceivably, can Stormy Daniels or Stephanie Clifford, her real name, can she corroborate Jessica Drake’s claims of President Trump’s unwanted kissing, groping. It’s all very relevant. It’s all getting very interesting, whether Steve wants to see it.”
That’s when Burnett let him have it.
“First, this is an important story, period. Secondly, we spent almost 40 minutes talking about Korea on this show,” Burnett said. “Thirdly, the White House pulled Peter Navarro, who was supposed to come on and give us a 10-minute interview about tariffs. So, perhaps you, if you were working at the White House wouldn’t have made such a poor decision, but that’s what they did. OK? So, let’s just be clear here. They don’t want to talk about the substance of things like tariffs, so they pulled him off the show.”
Cortes tried to say he would love to talk about the tariffs, but Burnett noted he doesn’t work for the White House or speak for the White House, while Navarro does.
“And on the point here about Stormy Daniels, we are learning President Trump is upset with his press secretary, after she acknowledged his involvement in the arbitration with her,” Burnett continued. “Obviously, that is significant too. His press secretary, Steve is, one could argue at this point the most loyal person in the White House to this president. And he’s mad at her about Stormy Daniels.”
Cortes tried to argue that it shouldn’t matter what Trump has done as a private citizen just like any other Hollywood celebrity.
Burnett cut in to say that what Trump may have done violated the law, and that’s where it becomes part of the public conversation.
“No one cares about Stormy Daniels,” Walsh said. “At least it seems it was a consensual relationship while some women allege he had a nonconsensual relationship. So, we’re adults. Don’t care about porn star. Don’t care about coverups, do care about crime.”
Cortes tried to argue everyone knew about the allegations of sexual misconduct but Burnett cut in to ask if Cortes cares about Trump violating the law. Cortes said that he did and Burnett explained that it means he does, in fact, care about Stormy Daniels.
“I don’t care about Stormy Daniels,” Cortes said.
“That’s the person who received $130,000 from the president’s personal attorney days before the election,” Burnett explained.
“I don’t care what a porn star who has been shown already incredibly on the public record to be a liar several times. I really don’t care what she says,” Cortes shot back.
“First of all, I’m not talking about what she says, and I’m not going to say which of them is more credible,” Burnett said. “I’m simply going to say she got $130,000 from Michael Cohen. Who cares about what she says? The point is, if that was a payoff, from a presidential election, it can be a violation of federal election crime. You either think that’s a story or you don’t.”
All Cortes could say is he’s not a lawyer.
Watch the smackdown below: