Donald Trump had his lawyers “take care” of nearly 100 women during the presidential campaign, former campaign strategist Steven Bannon claimed in a statement that has taken on new context after reports that Trump paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about their alleged affair.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a payment to the adult film star less than a month before the 2016 election in exchange for her keeping quiet about a 2006 affair with Trump at a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. The alleged payment came just after the release of the Access Hollywood video in which Trump appeared to brag about sexually assaulting women, which led more than a dozen women to come forward and claim that Trump had acted in a sexually inappropriate manner with them.
As Business Insider noted, this is not the only time that Trump has been accused of offering hush money to women. In a passage from author Michael Wolff’s tell-all book, Trump’s former campaign and White House strategist Steve Bannon claimed that Trump’s longtime lawyer paid off many, many other women during the campaign.
In the passage, Bannon claimed that Mark Kasowitz was quite experienced at helping Trump take care of potentially scandalous situations.
“Look, Kasowitz has known [Trump] for twenty-five years. Kasowitz has gotten him out of all kinds of jams,” Bannon reportedly said. “Kasowitz on the campaign — what did we have, a hundred women? Kasowitz took care of all of them.”
While Bannon did not directly say that the women were paid off to keep quiet about affairs or allegations of sexual impropriety from Trump, the allegations that Trump paid off Stormy Daniels has brought new attention to the passage.
There had already been a second adult film star who claimed that Trump acted inappropriately at the golf tournament where he is alleged to have slept with Stormy Daniels. Fellow adult film star Jessica Drake claimed that Trump forcibly kissed her at the tournament and offered her $10,000 and the use of his private jet if she would sleep with him, the New York Daily News reported.
Drake was one of more than a dozen women who came forward in 2016 to accuse Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior.
Both Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels deny that they had an affair or that there was a payoff for Daniels to keep quiet.