Opinion: Stormy Daniels Put Trump’s Toxic Horniness on Full Display

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty images/Reuters
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty images/Reuters

One thing is clear from Stormy Daniels’ testimony on Tuesday in Donald Trump’s New York “hush money” trial: she’s not doing this for herself.

Between detailing her career in adult films to an entire courtroom of strangers to getting fired from her podcast for not speaking enough about Trump, there’s very little upside in this for Daniels.

In fact, I’ve been indignant on her behalf for years that she was only paid $130,000 for keeping her story quiet before the 2016 election. He wastes far larger sums of money all the time (like on Don Jr. and Eric’s college educations, for example).

Trump’s Hush Money Trial Is Peak Manhattan

No, Daniels isn’t in this for the money or the publicity; she’s doing this for us. For the American people. For the sake of bringing Trump to justice.

And Trump, for his part, certainly isn’t having fun either. As Maggie Haberman wrote in The New York Times: “Trump has often had his eyes closed during uncomfortable moments of testimony in this trial. So far during this testimony, he is keeping them open.” Another Times reporter, Jonathan Swan, wrote, “as Stormy Daniels details her adult film career, Trump leans back and closes his eyes.”

For a man who lies as prolifically as Trump does, body language may be the only truth we’re going to get from him: Trump is miserable, Daniels is getting nothing, and even Judge Juan Merchan was unhappy as she was testifying.

The thing is, if Trump had just reined in his toxic horniness a smidge, he might have saved everyone the trouble. And he very likely wouldn’t be facing the prospect of a felony conviction (or at least, not in this particular jurisdiction).

Everything Daniels said about Trump crawled with sleaze, from the very first moment they met. He was about 60 and she was 27; she responded to his offer of dinner with an expletive and “no.” Her publicist later convinced Daniels to go on the date with the married man and father of a newborn.

Michael Ian Black: Here’s the Speech Trump Should Give at Barron’s Graduation

Daniels then described the dinner, where she says Trump interrupted her constantly, pulled out a magazine with his face on the cover, told her to come on his NBC show, The Apprentice (he never followed through on this offer), and said she reminded him of his daughter. It’s a well-established fact that Trump is attracted to his daughter, Ivanka, but I didn’t realize it was one of his standard pickup lines.

It got worse once they were in his hotel suite. My skin crawled with Daniels’ details of how Trump told her he and Melania slept in different rooms, or called her “honeybunch,” or got mostly naked while she was in the bathroom, or blocked the way so she couldn’t leave his room. I reacted viscerally to the description of how she blacked out after Trump stopped her from leaving, or how she left as fast as she could once it was over.

Everything Daniels described screamed of a woman trying to avoid sex, though she admits she never actually objected because she “didn’t say anything at all.” That right there should have been a dead giveaway—when I’m with someone in their hotel room and I want to have sex, I don’t have much trouble saying it. Just because she didn’t verbally say “no” doesn’t mean it wasn’t a clear example of Trump taking advantage of a much younger woman who wasn’t interested.

And now, 18 years later, this is where his toxic horniness has landed him: possibly on the verge of a criminal conviction.

It could and should be the end of him, but I can’t say I felt satisfied, reading through Daniels’ testimony.

The Joy of Making Trump Listen to Mean Tweets About Himself

Honestly, I wish he’d just left Daniels alone like she wanted him to. My wish for all women everywhere is that men would just leave us alone, sometimes. Nor can I say I’m surprised. As disgusted as I was by Daniels’ testimony, the only part that really shocked me is that Trump was married to Melania in 2006. I wouldn’t have expected he could keep a marriage going that long.

But I do feel just a bit of pride. Trump’s lawyers tried to block Daniels’ testimony today in the same way he tried to block her from leaving his room that fateful night in Tahoe. Now, unlike then, they failed, and finally, she got to hold him fully accountable, in the light of day. Turns out Trump’s inability to keep it in his pants might actually come with some consequences.

Trump is bad in an unusual, unprecedented way. There are plenty of other straight men out there who are just regular bad. If you don’t think a woman wants to have sex with you, she probably doesn’t. You’ll find someone else, I promise; the internet is a huge, horny place. And you just might end up saving yourself (and a bunch of other people) a whole lot of trouble.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.