LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A sex scandal that has morphed into criminal charges for former President Donald Trump has Nevada’s fingerprints all over it. Trump’s alleged affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels reportedly began 17 years ago at a Lake Tahoe golf tournament.
Daniels was 27 when she met then-60-year-old Donald Trump at a celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe in 2006. Daniels said she and Trump had a brief sexual tryst in Trump’s hotel room. She met him twice more, once in New York and again in Beverly Hills. The fling fizzled, she claims, after Trump informed her that she would not be appearing on his hit TV show “The Apprentice.”
Rumors about the affair percolated multiple times over the ensuing years. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, lived in North Las Vegas in 2011 when a magazine publisher interviewed her and planned to reveal the sordid details. The publisher asked her to undergo a polygraph to bolster Daniels’ claim. Las Vegas polygraph examiner Ron Slay, who has conducted more than 27,000 lie detector tests, some involving high-profile figures, was given the job. Daniels met Slay at his Maryland Parkway office in May 2011.
Slay recorded the nearly four-hour exam on camera. While only a single frame from that video has been made public, 8newsnow.com viewed the entire video in 2018. The publisher had submitted 17 questions for Daniels to answer. Slay whittled that down to three central issues.
Did you have intercourse with Donald Trump?
Did you have unprotected sex with Donald Trump?
Did Trump say he would get you on (the NBC TV show) The Apprentice?
In a confidential report, Slay wrote the probability of deception was less than 1%, although he listed the third question as inconclusive.
The publisher did not release the story. Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen had threatened to sue the magazine and Daniels. Years later, Daniels told 60 Minutes that after taking the polygraph, she was threatened by an unknown man as she parked her car outside a Las Vegas health club.
Daniels spent a lot of time in Las Vegas. She not only lived in the city for a year but was a red-carpet fixture at the annual Adult Video Expo and made special appearances at local adult clubs. She says that her fears grew more pronounced during the 2016 presidential campaign as Trump won primary after primary. Near the end of the 2016 campaign, multiple media outlets were working on potential news stories about her tryst with Trump. The stories were quashed after fixer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 dollars for the rights. As for the video of the polygraph exam, those rights were purchased by Daniels’ former attorney Michael Avenetti, who is serving a 14-year prison term. Likewise, Cohen went to federal prison on charges related to hush money payments to Daniels and another woman.
As President, Trump was questioned aboard Air Force One about the payments to Daniels. He deferred to Cohen. Both Cohen and Daniels have reportedly spoken with New York prosecutors in recent months as criminal charges against Trump were being crafted. The story that started out as a rumor 17 years ago in Nevada has now become a front-burner issue in Presidential politics.