Guess Who’s Not Coming For Dinner. Stormy Testimony In May 7 Trump Trial Update

11 min readMay 8, 2024

Monday’s trial was dry, but critical to the core legal case, discussion of documents central to fraud allegations against Trump. Tuesday was very different featuring hours of stunningly detailed testimony by adult film star Stormy Daniels, that while often riveting, was less on point to the crimes alleged. Daniels testified about meeting Trump, being invited to a dinner that never happened and Trump tricking her into the bedroom where they had sex.

A one sentence takeaway: While Stormy Daniels has never asserted that Trump raped her, and did not today, I think many will listen to her account of the encounter and conclude it was less than fully consensual.

Second one sentence takeaway: If Trump invites you to a dinner date, don’t expect dinner.

Overall more came out than probably should have. Defense motioned for a mistrial, which was denied, in part due to lack of timely Trump counsel objections, with the judge admitting that somethings were said that should have been and agreeing to some remedies for the defense in jury instructions.

Daniels also detailed her numerous continued contacts with Trump after the alleged one night stand. Her testimony, which will continue on Thursday, also featured the adult film actress repeatedly out-smarting Presidential defense counsel on cross examination. Here’s my summation of todays testimony/events.

-The day started with defense seeking to exclude any sexual related testimony from Stormy Daniels. The prosecution responded that her testimony, [brace yourself] “is not going to involve any descriptions of genitalia,” but added, “we do have to elicit that they had intercourse.” This is known as the “no mushroom penis rule” of evidence.

-Before getting to Stormy Daniels the first witness was Sally Franklin of Penguin House publishing. She read from Trump’s books of him boasting about how cheap he is. The prosecution suggesting it is implausible that Trump didn’t know what the money going to Cohen was for.

-One quote from Trump’s book “Think Like A Billionaire” reads:

“There’s nothing worse than a computer signing checks… when you sign a check yourself, you’re seeing what’s really going on.”

-Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) testified as to her upbringing that included being editor of her school newspaper, a love for horses, and having a poor mother who disappeared for days on end. She left home at age 17, and quickly became an exotic dancer, finding she could make more in two days than she did doing menial work (such as shoveling horse manure).

-She turned to nude modeling at 21 and testified to getting in the adult film industry at the urging of a friend. She boasts at winning 11 best director awards and two best screenplays. She listed mainstream movies and music videos she has appeared in. The prosecution is obviously trying to humanize her with the jury and present her as something other than just a porn star.

-The story start with her first meeting Trump, at a golf tournament in 2006 at Lake Tahoe. The owner of an adult film company introduced her to Trump telling him that Daniels appears and directs adult films. Daniels testified that Trump responded: “Oh you direct too? You must be the smart one.” He’s such a smooth operator with those come on lines.

-The jury was shown a picture of her and Trump together at the tournament (see above).

-At this meeting she was 27 and described Trump as her father’s age. Still, she says he asked her out to dinner, but she said “F no.”

-After she initially declined the dinner invite Trump’s security guard took her cell phone number. The jury was shown the contact in her phone. She says she didn’t want to go to dinner with Trump, but her publicist encouraged her to, so she agreed to it.

-Trump’s body guard texted her instructions to take a specific elevator to the penthouse. When she got there the bodyguard met her and ushered her in the room. Daniels stated her expectation was that they would go out to a restaurant.

-Daniels described Trump’s penthouse suite in detail. Three times bigger than her apartment, Mahogany wood panels, black-and-white tile. Very nice. Table with flowers. “Heavy, beautiful furniture. It was a very big, beautiful room.”

-Daniels testified that she assumed they would go out to dinner. They didn’t go out, and no dinner was ever had. Trump greeted her in satin pajamas. “Does Mr. Hefner know you stole his pajamas?” she jokingly asked Trump. She suggested he change, and “he obliged, very politely.”

-Trump suggested it was too early for dinner and that they chat. He talked to her about the business end of the adult film industry, Daniels noted that most wanted to talk about salacious stuff, but not Trump. However, he did ask if she’d been tested for STDs. She said she never had a bad test.

-They discussed Melania with Trump showing her some pictures and saying she was “very beautiful” but Trump said they don’t sleep in the same room.

-Trump suggested she appear on The Apprentice so people could see she’s not just a bimbo. She argued she wouldn’t do well on the show, so Trump offered to cheat on her behalf by giving her advance notice of the challenges.

-Trump also compared her to his daughter, Ivanka: “You remind me of my daughter because she’s smart, blonde and beautiful and people underestimate her.”

-Daniels testified she called a friend, named Alana, and put her on speakerphone. Trump asked her to come over and hang out, but her friend declined.

-Trump showed her a magazine with him on the cover. She had not seen it before. She responded angrily: “Are you always this rude? Are you always this arrogant and pompous? You don’t even know how to have a conversation.” This is when she spanked him on the butt with the magazine.

-During a break, with the jury out, the judge told prosecutors the degree of detail in her testimony was unnecessary. “When she comes back to the stand, we can move it along more quickly,” he urged.

-Despite this instruction Daniels testimony resumed with excruciating detail. She describes asking to use the bathroom and Trump to directing her to one through the bedroom. She describes in detail the bedroom, very large, with an unmade bed but no personal items around. In the bathroom she saw a toiletry bag which she looked in. She found Old Spice, “manicure stuff” and gold tweezers.

-When she came out of the bathroom Trump was on the bed, in just boxer shorts and t-shirt. She thought, “oh God, what did I misread to get here.”

-She told Trump she wanted to go and he responded to the effect of “c’mon, I thought you wanted to get out of that trailer park.” That prompted a defense objection that was sustained.

-Asked if she felt threatened by Trump, she stated, “there was an imbalance of power for sure. He was bigger and blocking my way, but I was not threatened either verbally or physically.” She testified that she blamed herself because, “I put myself in this bad situation.” She feels she agreed to the sex because she didn’t say anything at all.

-They had sex the missionary position while she stared at the ceiling. She described it as “brief” and testified that he did not wear a condom. When the prosecution sought more details defense objections were sustained.

-When it was done she said her hands were shaking so hard she had difficulty putting her shoes back on. Trump said, “Let’s get together again, Honeybunch.” Trump did not ask her to keep what happened confidential. He never expressed any concern about his wife finding out.

-Afterwards, Daniels testified she didn’t tell many about the encounter because she was ashamed she didn’t say no. She told many about going to the room, but about the sex to only a “very few, very close people.”

-She met Trump again at a nightclub the next day. He was at a table with NFLer Ben Roethlisberger who Trump introduced to her as “Big Ben” while calling her his “little friend Stormy.”

-In the weeks following she spoke with Trump by phone as much as once per week. She also put it on speaker so “dozens and dozens” heard these calls where Trump called her “honeybunch,” which she thought was weird.

-In the Summer of 2006 Daniels gave Trump’s assistant Rhona Graff her contact info. Note: Graff already testified as to having Daniels on Trump’s contact list.

-Daniels met Trump again in 2007 at the launch of his Trump Vodka. She testified she agreed to meet because “the chance to be on the ‘Apprentice’ was still up in the air,” and it was a public place. At this party Trump introduced Daniels to “his friend Karen” who Daniels later learned was Karen McDougal.

-Daniels met with Trump again briefly at Trump Tower with some of his assistants to talk about appearing on The Apprentice. Trump said, “I’m still working on the ‘Apprentice’ thing. I got some push back; I got push back.”

-She met Trump yet again in the Summer of 2007 with her boyfriend/publicist once again about an Apprentice appearance. “He said he had it almost sorted out for the show” something he’d say every time he called trying to get together with her again.

-Eventually Trump told her that his efforts to get her on The Apprentice had been “overruled.” After that, she testified, she stopped taking his calls.

-In 2011 she did an interview with “In Touch” magazine where she detailed the story, but In Touch did not run the story after Michael Cohen threatened to sue if they did.

-Shortly after that interview Daniels testifies that a man threatened her in a parking lot as she was going to a class with her infant. “He approached me and threatened me not to continue to tell my story.

-When a post about her story appeared on a website her attorney, Keith Davidson, helped her get it removed. Daniels said she wanted it removed because she was scared from the parking lot threat.

-Daniels publicist (different from the prior boyfriend) Gina Rodriguez reached out to her in 2015 suggesting she could sell the story with Trump running as President. Efforts were made, but they couldn’t sell the story until after the Access Hollywood tape came out in late 2016.

-In October 2016 Rodriguez told Daniels that Trump and Cohen were interested in buying her story after the Access Hollywood tape. She knew it was to be a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which she regarded as “the best thing that could’ve happened… “because then I’d be safe and the story wouldn’t come out.” She was still afraid from the parking lot threat.

-Daniels testified to the process of going through the NDA agreement, to include the side agreement, and the use of fake names. The agreement included a handwritten list of nine people Daniels had told about the encounter with Trump. Daniels testified she wrote that list.

-Then the promised payment did not materialize on time as Cohen kept making excuses.

-After the lunch break Trump’s attorneys motioned for mistrial arguing Daniels’ testimony was outside court established “guardrails.” Defense focused on Daniels’ testimony about subsequent meetings with Trump, which she caveated each time, were in public places. Defense claims Daniels’ testimony for the first time touched on consent in an adverse way to the defendant.

-Prosecution argued that none of it was new and that the details were necessary to show why Trump was so strongly motivated to avoid having the story go public. The story “is an exhibit” of what Trump didn’t want disclosed. Prosecution also claimed details were required to rehabilitate her credibility after the defense attacked her during the cross examination of Keith Davidson.

-The judge found the defense bears some responsibility for not timely objecting and denied the motion. However, the judge agrees that jury instructions regarding the 2011 parking lot threat are appropriate. In addition, the prosecutor was instructed to inform Daniels to stay focused on the actual questions in her testimony.

-Just a note. All this mistrial stuff occurred outside of the presence of the jury.

-Daniels resumed testimony explaining how the deal was revived after the payment was not promptly received. The payment was finally made.

-When the WSJ was preparing its article on her and Karen McDougal, it asked her for comment, which she declined because of the NDA.

-Daniels was asked about her January 18, 2018 statement (drafted by her attorney and Michael Cohen) denying any sexual encounter with Trump. She acknowledged that statement was not true.

-After the WSJ article came out her life fell into chaos and she hired Michael Avenatti to get her out of the NDA which Avenatti succeeded in doing.

-The jury was shown a March 2023 Truth Social Post where Trump called her “Horseface” and said he never spoke to her since the photo on the golf course which is also shown. Daniels testified Trump’s post is false, “because I met with him numerous times after that and spoke to him on the phone countless times.”

-On cross examination the defense accused her of rehearsing her testimony with the prosecutors, which she flatly denied. She admitted to “grueling prep sessions” that included mock cross examinations.

-Asked on cross if she hates Trump, she says she does.. Asked if she wants him to go to jail, she says she wants him held accountable and that she wants him to go to jail if he is found guilty.

-Daniels is confronted with her defamation case against Trump which was dismissed with Trump awarded fees. She admits that but correctly states that the court did not determine she said anything false. She acknowledges still owing Trump $560,000 which she has not paid pending an appeal. She notes 10% interest is accruing.

-Defense confronted Daniels with a tweet saying she would go to jail before paying Trump. Daniels answers: “That is me saying I will not pay for telling the truth. My motivation was because I was telling the truth.”

-Defense questioned her about doing porn to make money, suggesting she’ll do anything for money. My personal view is that this “porn shaming” was not a good approach.

-Daniels admitted to making money off the story, “I was making money by telling my story about what happened to me.” She added that she has also lost a lot of money from the story.

-Defense pressed Daniels over conversations she had with famous sexual harassment attorney Gloria Allred about a possible lawsuit against Trump in 2011. Daniels said she ended the conversation because Allred wanted Daniels to accuse Trump of rape. Defense counsel responded angrily, “You’re making this up as you sit there right now?” Daniels calmly answered, “No.”

-In another awkward moment defense counsel unsuccessfully tried to lead Daniels into admitting that what she learned from all this was “that a story about President Trump that doesn’t include sex will make you no money, right?” However, Daniels smartly rejected the leading question stating, “It taught me that I should tell the truth and not trust people.”

-Trump’s attorneys also tried unsuccessfully to get Daniels to admit she made up the story about being threatened in the parking lot in 2011.

Defense Counsel: “This man never existed, did he?”

Daniels: “He absolutely existed.”

Defense Counsel: “Isn’t this story made up?”

Daniels: “None of it’s made up.”

-Daniels similarly emphatically refused to follow defense’s leading questions as defense tried to accuse her of extorting Trump:

Defense Counsel: “You were looking to extort money from President Trump?”

Daniels: “False!”

Defense Counsel: “That’s what you did, right?”

Daniels: “False!”

At 4:30 the judge cut off cross ex and dismissed the jury for the day. There will be no court tomorrow, Daniels will resume the stand for more cross examination Thursday morning.




Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80