Jacob Heilbrunn

Is Donald Trump heading for his Monica Lewinsky moment?

Is Donald Trump heading for his Monica Lewinsky moment?
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The stories about Donald Trump’s sex life keep coming. First, it was Stormy Daniels who stated that she had an assignation with Trump in Lake Tahoe in 2006. Now it appears that Trump also met another woman in 2006, this time at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion. In an expose published today, the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow reports that Trump conducted a nine month long affair with 1998 Playboy 'Playmate of the year' Karen McDougal who was quite smitten by Trump’s charms, at least initially. Darrow has unearthed an eight page letter in which she describes in vivid detail her repeated encounters with Trump, including viewing Melania Trump’s bedroom at Trump Tower, a detail that is unlikely to escape the attention of the First Lady who recently failed to accompany Trump to Davos.

What the New Yorker uncovers, so to speak, is the alleged elaborate clandestine system, a la Harvey Weinstein, that Trump constructed to shield himself from the scrutiny of the press. He apparently relied on the good offices of the tabloid publication National Enquirer to pay McDougal $150,000 to, in industry parlance, ‘catch and kill’ the story of their trysts in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The tabloid is owned by the American Media Inc, whose CEO is the aptly named David Pecker. Rocker has described himself in the past as a ‘personal friend’ of the president.

McDougal says she regrets signing the contract and feels constrained from saying much other than verifying she wrote the eight page letter which includes passages such as:

‘We talked for a couple hours—then it was “ON”!’

Stormy Daniels, however, says she no longer feels any compunction about going public with her account as Trump’s personal attorney has divulged that he paid her $130,000 in hush money. Now Daniels is preparing to exhume a dress that she says she wore when meeting Trump. Like Monica Lewinsky’s famous blue GAP dress, she plans to have it examined for DNA evidence of her former paramour. The FBI certified that it could assess ‘to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty’ that source of the offending stain was Bill Clinton. It seems unlikely that a forensic examination will take place of the dress Daniels donned in Lake Tahoe. But Trump’s former life is receiving an airing that he could never have anticipated. The former swordsman may, however, also feel a twinge of nostalgia at the reports of his concupiscent days which have come to an abrupt terminus now that he is ensconced in the White House.