Stormy Daniels (Getty/Robyn Beck)

Adult film star Stormy Daniels claps back after Michael Cohen's guilty plea: "How ya like me now?!"

Daniels' comments just came after Cohen made the admission that he paid her off "at the direction of the candidate"


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Shira Tarlo
August 22, 2018 4:23PM (UTC)

Adult film star Stormy Daniels on Tuesday took a jab at Michael Cohen, the attorney who spent many years working as President Donald Trump's personal "fixer," following the news that he has pleaded guilty to campaign finance charges, tweeting: "How ya like me now?!"

Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, also praised Michael Avenatti, the omnipresent lawyer representing her, who emerged as one of Trump's chief critics as he defended his client.

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"And thank you @MichaelAvenatti," she wrote in a second tweet.

Daniels' remarks came mere hours after Cohen made the extraordinary admission that he paid her off "at the direction of the candidate" during the 2016 presidential campaign in order to squash reports about her alleged affair with the real estate mogul. Lanny Davis, a lawyer representing Cohen, told the media that his client "testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime."

Cohen admitted that he had arranged the $130,000 payment to Daniels and another related to former Playboy model Karen McDougal. He told a judge in U.S. District Court that he made the payments "for the principal purpose of influencing the [2016 presidential] election," seemingly in Trump's favor.

He also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and making false statements regarding a credit decision.

"We should all take a moment and applaud the tremendous courage and fortitude of @StormyDaniels, who has refused to be silent, who has refused to back down, and who has allowed facts to be presented in the court of public opinion, which some may argue is the most efficient," Avenatti wrote Tuesday on Twitter. "History will rightfully treat her as a hero for what lies ahead. #Basta."

Earlier on Tuesday, during an appearance on MSNBC's "Deadline: White House," Avenatti responded to the news that Cohen had pleaded guilty.

"She has been vindicated this afternoon. I have been vindicated," Avenatti declared. "I applaud her courageousness and her fortitude in coming forward. I think a lot of this stems from her courage and what she was willing to come forward and do."

"We're going to get to the bottom now, in connection with the civil case, as to what the president knew and when he knew it and what he did about it," the lawyer added. "The likelihood of me getting a deposition of the president of the United States under oath just just went through the roof — no question about it. And our case is no longer going to be stayed, and we're going to press forward as aggressively as possible."

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"We. Are. Coming. We are going to end this dumpster fire of a presidency one way or another," Avenatti tweeted along with a video of his comments Tuesday on MSNBC.

This Cohen investigation placed Trump's former lawyer under immense pressure in the Southern District of New York, while special counsel Robert Mueller continues his separate investigation into Russian meddling in the last presidential election. (Some of the evidence incriminating Cohen was reportedly uncovered by Mueller's investigators, who then handed it over to federal prosecutors.)

If Cohen agrees to cooperate with federal investigators as part of his plea deal, it is possible that the information he provides could also assist Mueller's ongoing investigation into alleged collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia.

It is not yet clear whether Cohen has decided to cooperate. Earlier this month, Cohen indicated that his loyalty to Trump might be wavering, telling ABC News he would "put my family and country first" before the president.

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"My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will. I put family and country first," Cohen told ABC's George Stephanopoulos at the time.

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Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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