MSNBC Compares Daniels to Founding Fathers, Help Her Raise Over $700K

As each major media network has turned to the crisis surrounding President Joe Biden’s age and potential dropout, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow took nearly two hours to interview and glorify adult film actress, Stormy Daniels. The interview consisted of softball questions, a reenactment of Daniels’ time on the witness stand, and a general glorification of the porn star. Overall, the show was a clear ploy to shift the focus away from the failing president and back on Trump.

From the beginning, it became clear the tone the host was hoping to promote. She spoke of the political consequences the case had, and complained of a postponed sentence. With a clearly frustrated, “Ta Da!” Maddow continued to speak about Trump, comparing his situation to Daniels, who apparently, unlike Trump, is, “a real life person.” Concluding a nearly 10-minute monologue, filled with praise, aggrandizement, and political agenda Maddow introduced her guest:

The interview began, yet Maddow had no intention of asking anything other than a softball question. Daniels’ story has been widely questioned, especially as she admits to much of her story having been “blocked out.” Maddow did not press this issue, or any that would paint the witness in any other light save that of being a public servant. Instead, citing Daniels’ GoFundMe , having only raised $1,050 as shown by Maddow last night, but as of Wednesday afternoon, the total reached over $700,000, the pair discussed Daniels financial issues following the Trump case.

Topics regarding the doxing and her concern for her daughter became major topics as well. Each discussion seemed to elevate the adult film actress to martyrdom for Maddow:

Maddow concluded the show alongside NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss with closing remarks regarding the “physical menace” of the Trump movement. Beschloss completed Daniels canonization from MSNBC:

Daniels has been glorified by the media and compared to the Founders of our nation for her courage, by those who we deem “historians” and “journalists,” walking away with free publicity and over $700,000.

MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show


9:00:37 PM EST


RACHEL MADDOW: When Ms. Daniels agreed to this interview, it was, I think in large part because that trial was over. The Republican presumptive nominee for president, former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York, centered on the payment that was made to Ms. Daniels to try and stop her from speaking publicly about her experience with Mr. Trump. Ms. Daniels testified in that trial, Mr. Trump was convicted by the jury on all 34 counts with which he was charged. After his conviction, after the trial was over that is when Ms. Daniels agreed to sit down with me for her first American interview after the conclusion of the trial. But now, it seems the trial maybe– is no longer concluded. It is no longer over. 

Today, in New York, Judge Juan Merchan agreed to delay Donald Trump’s sentencing in this case. He’s facing up to four years in prison here. That sentencing will be delayed now, so that Judge Merchan can consider a new motion from Trump’s defense lawyers. The new motion from them is because of the just astonishing U.S. Supreme Court ruling yesterday which went further than basically any legal observers had expected in granting Trump immunity from prosecution for anything he did while in office that could loosely be construed as an official act. One of the most radical elements of the Supreme Court’s decision, one that was so radical, Justice Amy Coney Barret wouldn’t actually sign on to this part of it, one of the most radical parts of is that the ruling not only establishes that Trump can’t be prosecuted for so-called official act, it means even if his alleged crimes were committed on his own time as a private matter, prosecutors bringing charges against him for those crimes, can’t use any evidence in court that relates to any arguably official actions. 

So in the New York criminal case related to this payment for Stormy Daniels, Trump’s lawyers are going to try and claim essentially, that some of the crucial evidence that was used to convict him should retroactively be deemed inadmissible on the basis of the fact that he was doing “president stuff”, when he did those things. That showed up as evidence in this case, and now, with this new Supreme Court ruling, anything that’s a “president thing” can’t be cited as evidence even if it is cited as evidence to support proving a totally unrelated crime that he did as a private citizen. So, long story short: instead of sentencing, Donald Trump next week, Thursday of next week which when — it was initially scheduled, the Judge Juan Merchan will instead consider the motion from Trump’s defense lawyers to throw out the jury’s guilty verdict, he will consider Trump’s defense lawyers’ argument about that, he will also consider arguments against from the prosecutors and on September 6th, he will rule on that motion to throw out the guilty verdict. If he doesn’t throw it out, Trump’s sentencing will go ahead on September 18th. Rather than next week, it’ll be September 18th. 

So, that was all just decided today. And one of the things it means in practical terms as if the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, is going to be sentenced to prison in this case, that sentence will now be handed down seven weeks before the election instead of 17 weeks before the election which is when it was going to happen. They say most Americans don’t start paying attention to the election until after Labor Day, well now, if he is going to get a prison sentence, his sentence will be way after Labor Day instead of months before Labor Day which was the original schedule. Ta Da! 

Since the debate between Trump and President Joe Biden, Democrats have of, course, been newly and acutely focused on questions about President Biden’s age, and the question of whether he should stay as the party’s nominee or should he and Vice President Harris have her take over the top of the ticket and pick a new running mate for her. This is an increasingly animated conversation on the side of the Democratic side. Presumably, the Democrats realize they need to move forward quickly on this, whatever they’re going to do. On the Republican side, though, since the debate, Donald Trump is moving backwards, he is moving backwards to this criminal trial at which he was convicted.

[Cuts to video]

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: How many billions of dollars do you owe in civil penalties, for molesting a woman in public, for doing a whole range of things, of having with a sex with a porn star on the night – while your wife was pregnant. I mean, what are you talking about? You have the morals of an alley cat.

JAKE TAPPER: You have a minute, sir.

DONALD TRUMP: I didn’t have sex with a porn star.

[Cuts to live]

MADDOW: Not only is Trump’s defense team asking effectively to reopen this case and to push any possible sentencing of Trump, 10 weeks closer to the election than it otherwise would be, he is also, as of this debate, I mean, he is still trying to tell America that Stormy Daniels is lying. That they did not have sex. He does not need – for lack of a better term, he does not need to litigate that point. But he keeps trying to, still, even now, even at that debate. The reason Stormy Daniels testified in detail, under oath, at his criminal trial about her interaction with him, is because he built his legal defense in large part on his contention that the sexual encounter between them did not happen. He didn’t have to do it that way. But he did. 

It was not necessarily the strongest legal approach to a defense in this case as evidenced by the fact that he was convicted unanimously on both counts but that is what he did. And that insistence by him, that she is lying, that insistence that the sex between them never happened, it has had very practical consequences for all of us, because his denial, his claim that this never happened, his insistence that denial be made in court by his lawyers on his behalf, it meant that the jury in his criminal case was asked to assess well, okay which of these accounts is credible, his claim that it never happened or her testimony that it certainly did happen. Right, it can’t be both. So, the jury was invited to assess in open court which one of these accounts is right. And that’s the legal fact of it, the human fact for all of us is that we the public got all of these details of the sexual encounter between them, not because anyone of us was desperate to know but because it was a crucial question at his criminal trial. Is she recounting this event in a way that the jury finds credible? Because that was the test, her credibility. The details she had to remember, became very legally relevant. So, you know, high ick factor, high importance though, too, in terms of the first conviction of a U.S. president in American history. 

So, there is his somewhat bizarre legal approach here, right, which he has continued since the trial, even at last week’s presidential debate his denial that this encounter happened right. There are the legal consequences of that for him, there are the things we can’t ever forget, consequences for us as the American public because of all the details we had to learn, as a consequence of that being his legal strategy. But there’s also Stormy Daniels, herself, a real life person. And the human fact of all of this, for her, is that Donald Trump, former President of the United States really did try, he really did decide, that he would try and stave off these 34 felony convictions by attacking her as a liar. He did not have to do that in order to defend himself against these charges in fact it wasn’t even a good legal strategy. But that’s what he did, and his attacks on her, in those terms, have led to years of ever increasing threats against her. So, we will talk about that tonight including what that has meant for this one life that she has on Earth, we will talk about what it means for us citizens whose country’s history has been profoundly shaped now by this one woman, insisting that she should tell what she knows, regardless of the threats, regardless of the targeting and damn the consequences. With that, here is Stormy Daniels.



9:20:47 PM EST

MADDOW: I should also mention that when Ms. Daniels told me while she was on the stand, she was doxed, details about her home were exposed. She’s right. Late in the afternoon of the first day she testified , the New York Post tabloid newspaper did publish an article showing pictures of her home in Florida. Separately, I should also tell you that we have confirmed today that in court that day, her first day of testimony, Trump’s defense counsel did seek to enter into evidence, a document with her full home address listed on it, unredacted. Ms. Daniels alerted the judge which is reflected in the transcript. The transcript says:

-An exhibit is shown on the witnesses and party’s screens. 

Trump’s Defense Lawyer: I offer this in evidence. 

Prosecutor: Objection.

The Judge: Sustained.

Then the witness, meaning Stormy Daniels, it says in the transcript, “whispering to the court,” meaning whispering to the judge, quote “This has my address.”

Trump’s Defense Lawyer: Well, let me ask you, you only partially fill this form out right? 

Prosecutor: Objection!

The Judge: Sustained. 

Trump Defense Lawyer: Can I approach?

The Witness, again, Stormy Daniels whispering to the judge, quote: That’s got my address. 

Whereupon the following proceedings were held at sidebar.

Meaning nobody in the court could hear this happening but we have the transcript of it now. At the sidebar: 

The Judge, says to the lawyers,: She, meaning Stormy, she turned to me, she looked fearful and said, “That’s got my address.” You asked to approach and she said, “That’s got my address.” She is very much afraid of this form.

 Meaning, afraid of this form being shown with her unredacted address on it. That form was not admitted into evidence. It was not therefore shown to the jury but it was shown on what they call the screen for the witnesses and the parties which means it was displayed on a screen visible to Stormy Daniels herself, visible to the lawyers on both sides and visible to the defendant. I’m telling you this because I want you to know that we checked, she is telling the truth about what happened to her on the stand.



9:56:37 PM EST

MADDOW: It is a hallmark of this time in Republican politics that anybody who has stood up in some capacity that has put them at odds with Donald Trump, anyone, soon finds themselves targeted and threatened by the Trump movement. The harassments and threats follow like clockwork when he singles out targets for disparagement at his rallies and in interviews and online and for some of the people who get targeted, like members of Congress or judges or FBI officials or members of the military, all of whom he has singled out for attack, for people who are members of robust institutions like that, the threats and targeting that come from opposing Donald Trump, those threats and that targeting is still terrorizing, it’s still scary and dangerous, but maybe less so because folks in those kinds of jobs can get help, right? Members of the January 6 Committee in Congress, they got additional security from congress. U.S. Marshals had to step up security around judges. We’ve even had members of the military moved to different U.S. military housing for their own safety for protection from the kinds of forces that the Trump movement unleashes. 

But for individual flesh and blood humans who aren’t part of a robust institution, who are just people, private citizens, who nevertheless get crosswise with Trump and his movement, where is there help? There is no security detail to call for. There is no sergeant-at-arms looking out for their safety. There is no one on the other side of any panic button. That is true for the jurors in these cases. It’s true for the election workers who they’ve been harassing and threatening. It is true for our guest tonight. And that should mean something for all of us, because part of rejecting violence and intimidation as part of our political system is protecting the individual people who are being subject to it and that is not happening yet in our country, which is a problem.



10:14:26 PM EST 

MADDOW: I want to let you know that Ms. Daniels was not paid for this interview, we do not do that under any circumstances. We also came to learn over the course of preparing for this interview, reporting out the circumstances with which we would be discussing these matters with her, we came to learn she is in fairly dire financial circumstances, because of her confrontation with Trump. As evidenced by the fact that she recently asked a friend, a man by the name of Dwayne Crawford, to open an emergency GoFundMe campaign to try to pay the attorneys fees that she has incurred and as she tries to hold on to her house.



10:36:23 PM EST

MADDOW: “They have not protected me. And this is the one thing. This is my line in the sand. This is my little girl.” You know, this interview surprised me in so many ways, but where I landed on with this in these conversations with Ms. Daniels is at this very simple place, which is that no one is superhuman, right? Our real-life villains are not superhuman. We sometimes make them out to be, they’re not. They are human beings with all of the human frailties and human decency that every human being is born with. But our real-life heroes aren’t superhuman either and you know, Stormy Daniels is, certainly she is a symbol. She is a brand name. She is an indelible and consequential proper noun in American history, right? She’s someone who will always be part of this crucible, this sort of trial by fire of the American principle that “Every American is subject to the rule of law.” She is also a mom, right? She is also just a woman and she has had six years of death threats and doxing and she is facing losing her house and is facing potential arrest on contempt charges for not, after all of that, for not handing over personal identifying information about her 13-year-old daughter. We checked that assertion from Ms. Daniels as well. Looking at the court documents relating to this case, she is facing contempt of court, the possible ruling that she is in contempt of court, which comes with it a possible arrest warrant, and she is facing it because she is not filling out a document that is demanding that she hand over identifying information about her daughter, including where her daughter can be found. Her daughter is 13. She says she won’t do it, and so what will happen to her? And who is protecting her? She is not part of any institution that has any sort of institutional defense. She is just a citizen and no one is superhuman, but you should not need to be superhuman in this country to tell the truth about a powerful person.



10:44:07 PM EST

MADDOW: Stormy Daniels is the motive, why the crimes were committed. As the prosecution said her story is in many instances uncomfortable to hear. She describes it as uncomfortable to recount, but it is now indelibly etched into our American history. It is central to the first-ever criminal conviction of an American president. Its details, the details recounted in court and further details recounted in this interview tonight. They themselves are themselves a searing insight into the personal behavior of an American president. 

But also she is an indelible part of American history here, because the targeting of her as a result of her testimony, the target of what has happened to her life because she is viewed by President Trump as one of his enemies because of this testimony. The story of what has happened to her because she has told the truth in this case, because she has testified in this case, is a harrowing story of the kind of menace, the kind of physical menace that the Trump movement uses against their perceived enemies. And that is one thing when it is directed at people who are in relatively safe positions of power with resources and with structures around them that can protect them from the worst. It’s something else when it is just an atomized human out there in the world trying to cope alone and the targeting of the people who are hurt by and menaced the most by the Trump movement is something we have not yet figured out how to defend against as a country and it is not going to get better on its own. Joining us now is Michael Beschloss, NBC News Presidential Historian. Mr. Beschloss, Michael it is very nice of you to be with us, here, tonight. Thank you so much for making the time.

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: Thank you. Thank you. What a poignant interview.

MADDOW: Yeah well, let me ask your reaction to this interview. This is the first US interview that’s she has done after the trial. We thought the trial was done, maybe it isn’t now, but let me just, as a historian looking at this, what do you think of it?

BESCHLOSS: Well, she is a brave woman and I don’t want to tie her immediately to early American history, but I almost can’t help but do it. Because the Founders and early Americans, we fought for independence from England so that we would have a system unlike England. No one could ever stand  up to the king. You couldn’t criticize the king without destroying your life. The whole idea of America was that this would be a society where we would benefit from everyone’s criticism. So. that the Founders said the humblest person could stand up to the President of the United States, criticize him, you know, say that he had done things wrong. He might not like it, but that person would not have their life destroyed. And that’s what happened to Stormy Daniels and obviously something has fallen short and it may be even worse now given the ruling by the Supreme Court yesterday that’s going to make the power imbalance between American presidents and our most modest citizens, that power imbalance has now, probably, tripled in the last two days.

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