White House

Stormy Daniels 60 Minutes Interview Had Almost No Effect on Trump’s Approval Rating

Anderson Cooper and Stormy Daniels during a 60 Minutes interview. (CBSNews 60 Minutes via Reuters)

Stormy Daniels’s Sunday appearance on CBS’ 60 Minutes did little to detract from President Donald Trump’s approval ratings despite drawing the program’s most viewers in more than a decade.

Trump’s approval rating stood at 44 percent last week and fell just two points to 42 percent after the interview, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll. A Real Clear Politics approval-rating aggregation reflects the same consistency from last week to today.

During the interview with Anderson Cooper, which was viewed by roughly 22 million people, Daniels recounted details of a sexual encounter she claims to have had with the president soon after his marriage to his third wife, Melania, and the birth of their only child, Barron.

The former porn star, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, also said that she accepted a $130,000 payment from Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen — despite knowing she could sell her story for a considerably larger sum — because she was threatened and told not to disclose the affair by an anonymous man while standing in a parking lot with her infant daughter.

While respondents appeared unmoved by the interview, they did believe Daniels’s account of the incident despite the White House’s denials. Only a third of those interviewed believe Trump is honest and a majority believe he has low moral character.

The data suggest Americans have become unmoved by Trump’s character flaws, and infidelity specifically seems not to move the needle at all, despite 91 percent of respondents claiming it is “very important” for elected officials to be honest in their personal lives and 80 percent agreeing that extramarital affairs are “morally wrong.”

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