Donald Trump smears Stormy Daniels after federal judge dismisses adult film star's defamation suit

Inside Trump's long history of mocking the appearances of female comedians, reporters and political opponents

Published October 16, 2018 5:14PM (EDT)

Stormy Daniels; Donald Trump (AP/Getty/Salon)
Stormy Daniels; Donald Trump (AP/Getty/Salon)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called adult-film star Stormy Daniels a "horseface" and threatened to "go after" her on Tuesday – less than one day after he claimed a court victory against his alleged mistress.

"Now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas," the president tweeted. "She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con!"

The president's tweeted followed the decision of a federal judge in California to dismiss Daniels' defamation lawsuit against Trump, which also required her to pay the president's legal fees.

Daniels's attorney, Michael Avenatti, responded by calling Trump a "disgusting misogynist" and a "liar" who has embarrassed his country.

"You are a disgusting misogynist and an embarrassment to the United States. Bring everything you have, because we are going to demonstrate to the world what a complete shyster and liar you are." Avenatti tweeted. "How many other women did you cheat on your wife with while you had a baby at home?"

Daniels later clapped back at Trump, making a crude reference to his genitals — reiterating a claim similar to the one she published in her new tell-all book.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president. In addition to his...umm...shortcomings, he has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN! And perhaps a penchant for bestiality," Daniels tweeted. "Game on, Tiny."

The California judge's ruling does not impact a separate lawsuit that Daniels filed against Trump surrounding a 2016 nondisclosure agreement.

Daniels alleges that she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and that the former real estate mogul paid her $130,000 during the 2016 presidential campaign in exchange for her silence.

The payment is also being investigated by federal prosecutors in New York City, who have already secured a guilty plea from Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who helped arrange the payment. In August, Cohen made the extraordinary admission that he paid off Daniels "at the direction of the candidate" – a reference to Trump – for "the purpose of influencing the [2016 presidential] election."

Trump's Tuesday remark is the latest example of his willingness to insult women. He has a long history of mocking the appearances of female comedians, reporters, political opponents and models.

In August 2012, he mocked the looks of Arianna Huffington, tweeting that the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of HuffPo "is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision."

In September 2015, Trump attacked then-Republican presidential primary opponent Carly Fiorina by saying, "Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?"

While on the campaign trail in 2016, Trump suggested that the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct are too unattractive to assault. "Yeah, I'm gonna go after her," he said sarcastically at a rally in North Carolina. "Believe me, she would not be my first choice. That I can tell you. You don't know. That would not be my first choice."

He also condemned former Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado, whom he called "Miss Piggy." He said, "She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem."

Trump has also criticized comedian Rosie O'Donnell, saying, "We're all a little chubby, but Rosie is just worse than most of us. But it's not the chubbiness. Rosie is a very unattractive person, both inside and out."

He also despaired that supermodel Heidi Klum is "sadly, no longer a 10."

In June 2017, Trump claimed MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski arrived at a New Year's Eve party at his Florida golf resort while "bleeding badly from a face-lift" and refused to let her in.

The president's latest disparaging remark comes just 21 days ahead of the midterm elections. According to The Hill's Jordan Fabian, "Republican strategists fear the party could lose control of the House, in part, because of its poor marks among women."

As Fabian notes, the GOP's deficit with women was further highlighted during the confirmation battle of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the Senate, during which Trump mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of attempted rape in the 1980s, at a campaign rally in Mississippi.

Additionally, a total of 603 women are vying for local, state and federal offices this year, according to Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics. Of that group, just 108 — fewer than 2 in 10 — are Republicans. That number could throw a wrench in the Republican Party's attempts to maintain control of the House of Representatives.

As of this writing, FiveThirtyEight estimates that Republicans have a one in seven chance — or 15.4 percent — of keeping control of the House of Representatives this fall.

By Shira Tarlo

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