- The porn star Stormy Daniels says that in 2011, a man threatened her in a parking lot in Las Vegas, telling her to leave Donald Trump alone.
- At the time, Michael Cohen, Trump’s top lawyer, had recently worked to shelve an interview she provided to a tabloid about what she has said was an affair with Trump, CBS reported.
- In the past year, BuzzFeed has reported two similar allegations of threats or intimidation from associates of Trump – accusations that a Trump Organisation representative and Cohen have denied.
- Cohen has called on Daniels to “cease and desist” and apologise for suggesting the man who threatened her was connected to him.
In a “60 Minutes” interview on CBS on Sunday night, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said she was approached by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 weeks after she agreed to tell a sister publication of In Touch magazine about what she has said was a yearlong affair with Trump that started at a Lake Tahoe celebrity golf tournament in 2006.
The story did not run because Cohen threatened to sue the publication, CBS said, though it was published earlier this year after reports that Michael Cohen, a top lawyer for Trump, facilitated a $US130,000 payment to Clifford just before the 2016 presidential election.
Clifford said the man who approached her in Las Vegas told her: “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.”
She said he leaned in, looked at her infant daughter, and said, “That’s a beautiful little girl – it’d be a shame if something happened to her mum.”
Clifford said she took the comment as a direct threat. She never saw the man again but said she would “100%” be able to recognise him if she did. She said she did not report the incident to police because she was scared.
In his response to the “60 Minutes” interview, Cohen focused on that allegation, demanding Clifford “cease and desist.”
Fox News reported that in a letter on Sunday, his attorney demanded Clifford apologise for implying Cohen was behind that 2011 incident and insisted she stop making “false and defamatory statements” about Cohen.
On Monday morning, Michael Avenatti, Clifford’s lawyer, told NBC News that the man she said threatened her “had to be someone that is related to Mr. Trump or Mr. Cohen.”
‘We know where you live’
In the past year, BuzzFeed has reported on two similar allegations of threats from Trump associates.
According to one report, when Trump’s casino business went bankrupt in 2009, a lawyer named Kristopher Hansen who was representing people who stood to lose more than $US1 billion told law-enforcement officials he received a call threatening him and his family.
“My name is Carmine,” Hansen recalled the man on the call saying, BuzzFeed reported. “I don’t know why you’re f—ing with Mr. Trump, but if you keep f—ing with Mr. Trump, we know where you live, and we’re going to your house for your wife and kids.”
FBI case notes obtained by BuzzFeed showed the call was from a New York City telephone booth across the street from the Ed Sullivan Theatre, where Trump was set to be a guest on David Letterman’s “The Late Show” later that day.
Hansen, who speculated the man on the phone was a Trump bodyguard, was so fearful that a local police department had to send a car to monitor his home over three days, BuzzFeed said. He reported the call to an FBI field office and was later interviewed by the bureau.
In response to the story, Cohen said in an emailed a statement to BuzzFeed that he was not aware of anyone named Carmine who provided security for Trump, or of any law-enforcement inquiry into Hansen’s story.
Accusations of holding a 12-year-old boy and his mother against their will
A second instance involved accusations that Trump’s security guards shoved, threatened, and held a 12-year-old boy and his mother against their will in the 1990s, BuzzFeed reported.
The boy’s father, Daut Bajrushi, had promised to bring forth allegations of financial impropriety and misconduct against the Trump Organisation, BuzzFeed reported, citing the family’s account in FBI records and court documents.
Bajrushi, a superintendent at one of Trump’s buildings, had said he could prove misconduct at Trump Palace, the Upper East Side skyscraper in which he worked, according to BuzzFeed. He believed he had evidence that the Trump Organisation had ripped off homeowners to the tune of $US300,000.
Just before he was set to disclose the information, he became ill and sent his wife and son to his office to pick up his belongings, BuzzFeed reported. As they gathered paperwork, someone busted the lock with a screwdriver, and four Trump security officials entered the room and prevented them from leaving, Bajrushi’s lawsuit said.
Bajrushi accused Trump’s head of security, Matthew Calamari, of shoving the boy, and another official of pushing the woman and the boy back when they tried to leave. The lawsuit said that the boy started to cry while his mother fainted and that Calamari threatened to harm the family if they told police about what happened, BuzzFeed reported.
Police arrived an hour and a half later, and the two were released, the lawsuit said.
“The allegations, from over 20 years ago, are completely inaccurate, ridiculous, and utterly false,” a Trump Organisation representative said in a statement to BuzzFeed. “This individual was rightfully terminated following a thorough investigation.”
In response to the family’s lawsuit, the Trump Organisation said Bajrushi was not a loyal employee and had committed fraud and embezzled money. It accused his wife, Hatixbe Bajrushi, of being in his office to destroy any evidence.