Stormy Daniels: White House 'strongly' denies Trump's alleged affair

While the legal team of the porn actress Stormy Daniels hoped that her interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes would be a bombshell, the story did not really pick up at the press briefing with Raj Shah.

From the podium, Shah announced that "the president strongly, clearly and consistently has denied the underlying claims [of the affair]", and implied that it is Stormy who's a liar.

On the first White House news briefing after President Trump reaffirmed his ban on transgender people serving in the USA military, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah declined to address the issue, nor did any reporters from mainstream media outlets ask about it as part of their questioning. She also said that a man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011, when she was with her infant daughter, and threatened her with physical harm if she went public with her story. "I'm not going to get into what the president may or may not have seen", he said, though he mentioned that clips of the interview were ubiquitous on cable news on Monday morning.

Mr Shah said Ms Daniels' had been "inconsistent" in her claims about the sexual encounter.

Referencing the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, AP's Zeke Miller asked, "Can you state categorically that the president, campaign and the Trump Organization did not violate federal law, specifically election law, regarding that payment?"

Shah's response on Monday was the first acknowledgment the White House has given of the payment, which Cohen has admitted he made.

Daniels' defamation allegation was based on a February 13 statement by Cohen that she said hurt her reputation. "I'll say that he's consistently denied the allegations".

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Trump said last Thursday he would replace national security adviser H.R. McMaster with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. He did not try to discredit the premise that Trump sometimes undermines even his most-senior aides by doing the opposite of what they've said publicly.

The White House denied the president's involvement in the alleged incident.

Daniels claimed she had dinner in Trump's hotel room followed by unprotected sex. It paid her $150,000 during the 2016 presidential election.

Daniels detailed the alleged relationship between herself and Trump, now saying it wasn't contained to a single evening.

When asked if the president was aware of the threat, Shah said the president doesn't believe Clifford was ever threatened.

"Our job as a press office and as an administration is to give you the best information that we have available to us, the most accurate information, in a timely fashion", Shah said.

Late Sunday, Cohen's attorney, Brent Blakely, sent a cease and desist letter to Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, and demanded she apologize and refrain from making "false and defamatory statements" about Cohen in the future.

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