September 19, 2018
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Stormy Daniels, a Wikipedia double entry

Matt Sayles | AP
Matt Sayles | AP
In this Feb. 11, 2007, file photo, Stormy Daniels arrives for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. President Donald Trump's personal attorney says he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a porn actress who allegedly had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006. Michael Cohen tells The New York Times he was not reimbursed by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign for the payment to Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
By Frederic B. Hill, Special to the BDN

(a) Stormy Daniels: the 3-year-old filly that eclipsed all thoroughbred horse-racing records in the spring of 2021 by capturing all three legs of the Triple Crown.

(b) Stormy Daniels: the stage name for an adult film performer and strip-tease dancer, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford. Disclosure of her alleged affair with Donald Trump drove him out of the 2020 campaign.

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a) Stormy Daniels, the lanky, steel-gray filly named after the adult film star, blitzed past one favorite after another to capture the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 2021 and become the first female horse to win thoroughbred racing’s most coveted honor.

Owners Martin Millpoint and Susan Granger were overcome with joy at Belmont Park in June 2021, when their unheralded young upstart breezed across the finish line four lengths ahead of the field.

“This was all an inside joke when we purchased this foal in 2018,” Granger told well-wishers and reporters in the winner’s circle.

“We were not even politically active. Stormy was born in Kentucky in early 2018 just after the photos of Trump and Clifford were splashed across the front pages. We just thought it was a terrific name — good enough for a porn star, good enough for a horse?”

Millpoint and Granger said they had not decided whether their filly would continue to race or be retired to raise future thoroughbreds. They said they will decide soon.

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b) Stormy Daniels is a pseudonym for Stephanie Clifford, a porn star and strip tease performer. The Wall Street Journal disclosed in January 2018 that one of Donald Trump’s lawyers paid Daniels/Clifford $130,000 during the 2016 presidential campaign to hush up about an alleged affair between her and Trump in 2006.

Daniels/Clifford maintained her cool throughout the tumultuous political year of 2018, which began with a government shutdown and ended with the Democratic sweep of Congress.

The 116th Congress saw the impeachment of President Trump in 2019. The charges of impeachment grew out of the special counsel’s investigation of Russian intervention in the 2016 election. The case included charges of collusion stemming from multiple alleged cases of money-laundering by Russian oligarchs, but more charges were based on obstruction of justice in the firing of FBI Director James Comey and other efforts to “obstruct and impede” the rule of law. The impeachment effort failed, however, when 36 senators, all but three of the minority 39 Republicans, voted against the action. Impeachment required 67 votes, but gained only 64.

Daniels/Clifford kept a low profile through 2018 and 2019 despite the impeachment process, and a torrent of new charges of alleged sexual misbehavior against the president. But she caused a flurry of excitement when she announced in March 2020 that she was considering a run for the Republican nomination.

Daniels/Clifford backed away from her threat to challenge Trump. But in the six weeks of her fledgling campaign, she made clear she possessed “intriguing” tape recordings that she claimed would “make me more famous than Alexander Butterfield.”

Alexander Porter Butterfield was the presidential assistant who revealed the existence of the White House taping system that played a major role in the downfall of President Richard Nixon in the 1973-74 Watergate scandal.

Four weeks after her April 2020 interview, President Trump announced that he would not run for a second term. Two weeks later, not long after golfing with Vladimir Putin in Cyprus, he resigned following disclosure by his doctor of an unidentified “serious health risk.”

Vice President Michael Pence was promptly sworn in as the 46th president, but announced he would not seek election. A full-scale circus ensued. A total of three GOP candidates, 32 Democrats and 112 independents ran for the presidency in 2020. California Sen. Kamala Harris was elected president, thrashing Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell.

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(a) Martin Millpoint, co-owner of the filly Stormy Daniels, declined to take credit for Trump’s downfall. “It was truly a perfect storm, to use a bad pun.”

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(b) The real-life Stormy Daniels, now trying to lead a quiet life, still refuses to share more details of her former relationship with Donald Trump. Trump, meanwhile, divorced once again, hibernating at his Mar-a-Lago estate, says little except that he is working on an autobiography, to be titled “Fake News.”

Frederic B. Hill is a former correspondent for The Baltimore Sun in Europe and Africa. He is co-editor of “The Life of Kings: The Baltimore Sun and the Golden Age of the American Newspaper.” He lives in Arrowsic.

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