A Wednesday panel on CNN discussed the latest developments between President Donald Trump and three women who say they had an affair with him. The panel agreed that Trump is losing the battle of public opinion.
Overnight, Daniels released a photo of herself taking a polygraph test to verify the statements she gave to In-Touch Weekly magazine about her affair with Trump. CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza argued that the science behind the tests verify that they are accurate.
“I don’t know that the real debate is did Donald Trump engage in an extramarital affair with Stormy Daniels,” he continued. “The debate is Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s lawyer, paid this woman $130,000 from a shell company that he created in Delaware. Why? He says Donald Trump didn’t have anything to do, he didn’t think he had an affair. OK, well, he paid her for some reason.”
He went on to note that the American public isn’t likely to learn anything new about Trump. It was not as if “he was elected as the beacon of moral turpitude in this country,” Cillizza noted, despite Trump’s multiple endorsements from the evangelical community.
“He may have been elected as a beacon of moral turpitude but he was not seen as a moral giant,” host Chris Cuomo said.
“Good point,” Cillizza agreed. “Look, I think it will continue to generate a massive amount of publicity. Other women are saying, ‘Wait a minute, there is a legal venue I can seek out?’ I do not think that this is the thing that people flip the switch and say, ‘Wait a minute, Donald Trump may not have been the greatest husband ever.’ I don’t know that that is stunning information.”
Eva Martin, author of Make it Rain: How to Use the Media to Revolutionize Your Business and Your Brand, pushed back, saying that the difference between what the public knows now and what what was known on Election Day is that people didn’t know these women were paid off to stay silent.
“So, I think that’s the distinction in this story, is that all of this effort to keep her from telling her story,” Martin continued. “So, we knew about affairs. No secret, Donald Trump had affairs. He cheated on his wife.”
Cuomo noted there is nothing illegal about what happened between Trump and the women, but Martin argued the hush money is what could change how women see him.
Erica Hill, filling in for co-host Alisyn Camerota, argued that the thing that is hurting Trump the most is “the constant drip, drip, drip of information” and that it is not letting up.
“And this is so ironic,” Martin argued. “Trump prides himself on using the media, telling the narrative, controlling the narrative. Now Stormy Daniels and her lawyer are controlling the narrative.”
However, according to Martin, Trump is going down in flames in that battle.
“Even though they may not win this case in court, because there are some issues with the legal case. But in the court of public opinion, they’re winning,” she continued. “This story is front and center. You look at Karen McDougal and now the former ‘Apprentice’ star, you’ve got the president involved in potentially three civil lawsuits. He could be subjected to depositions, a discovery where he has to answer questions under oath, and subpoenas.”
She explained that such a presidential problem is unprecedented in modern times. Even in the case of former President Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky never sued him and was never paid to keep silent. Trump, however, is facing three potential affairs in addition to multiple sexual harassment accusations.
Watch the full discussion below: