Cerabino: Fake news? Here’s real story behind Trump’s porn-star payoff


This column goes out to the Mar-a-Lago Trumpettes and the assorted presidential motorcade wavers on Southern Boulevard sidewalks with their Make America Great Again signs and oversized American flags.

Hang in there. Don’t let the “fake news” get you down.

Especially that story about how then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s lawyer set up a shell company in Delaware to mask a $130,000 payment in hush money to a porn star named Stormy Daniels to keep her from talking about her sexual encounters with Trump a year after his marriage to Melania and a few months after the birth of their son.

That must be fake news, right? No collusion!

And now you’re waiting to hear the real story, the counter-narrative that makes you feel better.

I think I can help. As a full-service news columnist, I’m willing to provide you with the talking points you’ll need to power through this story, so you can hold your head high while cheering on the sidewalk or in the club’s ballroom the next time the president comes to Palm Beach.

So here goes:

Yes, the president’s lawyer Michael Cohen paid Stormy Daniels $130,000. But it wasn’t hush money.

Here’s where the fake news got it wrong.

It was a grant. That’s right. Stormy, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is an actress and director who is doing some groundbreaking work in the cinema. There are many people who watch her movies over and over again. They are that riveting.

Not like that overrated Meryl Streep.

(Streep has only starred in 81 movies in her career. Stormy Daniels has starred in 270.)

Think of it this way: Some artists get a MacArthur Fellowship grant for their work. Stormy got a little-known, but equally prestigious, Trump Fellowship grant.

And when it comes to fellows, Stormy Daniels is no stranger. Over the years, she has amassed quite a body of work.

Stormy is particularly accomplished in the area of wildlife documentaries.

Her look at marine life, Tuna Helper and Silence of the Clams, has been lauded as quite revealing. And on land, she has done multiple projects on cougars, and has contributed to an ever-growing catalogue of films that depict lives of dam-building river mammals in such titles as Beaver Buffet and Eager Beavers.

Throughout her career in the film world, she has proven to be a very versatile artist, capable of working with big casts in a variety of positions, from directing to stunt work in her tribute to America’s efforts against terrorism, Operation: Desert Stormy.

She has also done work that highlights both sides of the dietary divide in this country, by siding with vegans in Meatless in Seattle, to making the case for a red-meat diet in Porking with Pride 2.

It is also very likely that Trump, who has attributed losing the popular vote to fraud, may have also financially supported Stormy in the hopes that she would investigate Hillary Clinton’s vote totals in California in a sequel to Daniels’ eye-opening film about voting irregularities entitled Stuff Her Ballot Box.

Instead of telling the American people the truth about Donald Trump’s contribution to the career of this multi-faceted artist and documentary filmmaker, the fake-news media has tried to paint this benign patronage relationship as something tawdry.

Even worse, they’ve besmirched the work of Daniels, implying that she makes smutty movies.

Much of this is attributable to an unfortunate typo in the final word of the title of her one of her films five years ago. The correct title of this documentary about alcoholism among senior citizens should have been written as Mom, What’s in Your Glass?

It’s time the fake-news media tell the real story about this relationship and put the president’s contribution to the career of this hard-working American movie star in its proper wholesome light.

You’re welcome, Trumpsters.



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