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I’m not going to suggest that Donald Trump doesn’t love his family, but he’s hardly made it a secret that he likes to have extramarital relationships. The fact that he decided to commit crimes to cover up his tryst with a pornography actress and his ten-month relationship with a Playboy bunny has little to do with his family learning about them. He didn’t want the nation to learn about them in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign. Apparently, there are Republicans in Congress who are willing to make themselves look ridiculous by suggesting otherwise.

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) told CNN’s John Berman that he believes President Trump loves his family so much that he paid off porn star Stormy Daniels—with whom he had an alleged extramarital affair shortly after his son Barron was born—to protect them.

On March 22, 2018, Anderson Cooper of CNN interviewed Karen McDougal, the Playboy bunny who had an extensive extramarital affair with Donald Trump. There’s a section of that interview in which they discuss Trump’s tryst with porn actress Stormy Daniels. What’s notable is that McDougal felt that Trump had been cheating on her. She had traveled to Lake Tahoe with the future president for a getaway weekend once, and the moment she left, her lover jumped in the sack with someone else.

COOPER: When you heard the stories of Stormy Daniels who has come forward who said that she was at the Tahoe Club as well and others who said that they were there, you didn’t know about that at the time.

MCDOUGAL: No, I did not know.

COOPER: Does it — what do you think when you heard that?

MCDOUGAL: My first thought is how could she have been with him when I was with him? The only time we weren’t together on that particular trip was when I — he was on the golf course golfing. I didn’t go, clearly, but I went to every event, every after thing, parties, daytime things, I was there. That’s why I can’t understand.

Now, I do remember him saying, he came in one day and said, oh, there are a bunch of porn stars out there. They were wanting pictures of me. And I’m like, oh, that’s funny, you know, that’s cute, whatever. I do remember him saying that, but I can’t imagine when he found the time except for maybe the day I left.

So, it’s kind of like, wow, how did this happen?

Here’s how it happened.

In Touch Weekly: When was the first time you met Donald Trump?

Stormy: It was a charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. I guess he was there to play golf, and I was there because the company I worked for was doing an appearance in the gift room. The first time I met him was actually out on the course. They brought us out to ride around and he kept looking at me and we were introduced. He was introduced to everybody. He kept looking at me and then we ended up riding to another hole on the same golf cart together and he’s like, “I want to come talk to you later.” Later, when he was coming to the gift room, he came to talk to me and asked for my number and I gave it to him. Then he asked me if I wanted to have dinner that night and I was like, “Yeah, of course!” Who would pass up an opportunity to talk to someone so interesting? I wasn’t trying to date him or anything like that.

IT: It was more of a business move on your end?

Stormy: Of course. Whether you’re a fan of his or not, which I never really was, you gotta admit he’s pretty fascinating. That’s one of the best things about my job. I’ve had the opportunity to really talk to and meet some really fascinating, weird people. So I said yeah, of course. He invited me. He told me to come up to meet him in his room. He told me his room number and whatnot. I can’t remember the room number, but I do know that it was the penthouse or at the top of the Harrah’s.

IT: What happened next?

Stormy: So I went up to the room and I was met outside by his bodyguard, Keith [Schiller], who I met every time I saw him. Keith was always with him. That’s how I got in touch with him. I never had Donald’s cellphone number. I always used Keith’s. I went up to the room and he said, “Oh yeah, he’s waiting for you inside.” I went in and I was all dressed up because I had just assumed that we were going to go to dinner, but he meant to have dinner in his room. Like he wasn’t dressed to go out at all, just lounging. I remember taking a jab at him. I remember saying, because he was all sprawled out on the couch, watching television or something. He was wearing pajama pants. And I was like, “Ha, does Mr. Hefner know that you stole his outfit?” I was actually really mean to him. He got all huffy and tried to play it off and was like, “Oh, I just thought we would relax here.” We ended up having dinner in the room…

After dinner in the room, she had him take off his pants so she could spank him with a Forbes magazine. And when they were done having sex, they tried to get another porn actress to join them in the room.

According to [Alana] Evans, Trump and Daniels called her several times from Daniels’s phone throughout the night, inviting her to join Trump in his hotel suite. The last of the calls, she says, came around 11 P.M. “Oh, come on, Alana, let’s have some fun!” Trump implored her. “Come to the party, we’re waiting for you.”

This all happened in July 2006, while Melania Trump was home in New York nursing their son Barron who had been born in March. And it’s probably this last detail that would have been the most damaging to Trump at the tail-end of the campaign.

He instigated a conspiracy to cover this all up that involved bank fraud, wire fraud, and felony campaign finance violations. The person who he ordered to carry out the plan has admitted it was done for electoral reasons and he’s going to jail as a result.

Senator Mike Rounds says that Trump loves his family and that excuses all of this. I’m not sure many people will believe that.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at