Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday suggested that Donald Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels was a myth because he would never go for someone who looked like her — the same logic the president has used to deflect accusations of sexual misconduct.
“When you look at Stormy Daniels ...” Giuliani said at a press conference in Israel, grimacing. “Look at his three wives, right? Beautiful women. Classy women. Women of great substance. Stormy Daniels?”
And he didn’t stop there. The Trump attorney went on to swipe at Daniels’s work in pornography and emphasize that he doesn’t “respect a porn star” the same way he respects a “career woman.”
“I respect all human beings. I have to respect criminals,” he said. “I’m sorry, I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person and isn’t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation.”
As Talking Points Memo reports, Giuliani refused to backtrack on his comments in an interview with MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson. “Why would I withdraw them?” he said. “You’re going to tell me that being involved in pornography isn’t demeaning to women? I don’t know — do you have a daughter?”
Daniels, who has said she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, is currently embroiled in a contentious lawsuit against the president, as she seeks to void a nondisclosure agreement she signed about the purported interaction.
Trump attorney Michael Cohen admitted to paying Daniels $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election — an amount that Trump later acknowledged reimbursing him for.
Giuliani’s comments about Daniels stem from a common Trump talking point
Giuliani’s criticisms of Daniels use reasoning that Trump has returned to time and again, in order to discredit women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. Here’s the president pushing back against allegations from Jessica Leeds, who said he groped her and tried to reach up her skirt.
“Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you,” he said to crowd laughter at a North Carolina rally in 2016. “When you looked at that horrible woman last night, you said, ‘I don’t think so.’”
At a Florida event, he attacked People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff, who said he forcibly kissed her without consent. “Take a look — you take a look, look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think — I don’t think so. I don’t think so,” he said.
After Daniels participated in a 60 Minutes interview in which she discussed the Trump affair, the president sought to dispute her claims and “griped to several people that Daniels is not the type of woman he finds attractive,” according to the Washington Post. Giuliani’s comments are in the same vein as Trump’s efforts to demean women as a means of self-protection.