President Donald Trump lashed out at adult-film star Stormy Daniels and her attorney Tuesday morning, vowing to “go after” the pair, who he referred to as “Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer.”
The tweet from Trump comes a day after a federal judge in California handed the president a rare legal victory in his ongoing legal battles with Daniels.
Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti – who has been teasing a possible run for president against Trump in 2020 – wasted little time in responding in kind to the insults, calling Trump a “disgusting misogynist and an embarrassment to the United States.”
“Bring everything you have,” Avenatti crowed, “because we are going to demonstrate to the world what a complete shyster and liar you are.”
Also firing back on her (usually) not-safe-for-work Twitter feed, Daniels wrote, “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president.”
“[H]e has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN!” Daniels wrote.
The barrage of Twitter barbs follows a ruling Monday by US District Court Judge S. James Otero that dismissed Daniels’ defamation claim, one of two lawsuits she filed against the president.
Otero ruled that a tweet Trump sent earlier this year mocking Daniels’ credibility was free speech protected by the First Amendment.
The judge noted that Daniels had “sought to publicly present herself as an adversary” to Trump, and that to deny him the ability to engage in responding to her allegations “would significantly hamper the office of the President.”
An attorney for the president, Charles Harder, characterized that ruling in a statement as “a total victory for President Trump and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels.”
The court also ordered Daniels to pay Trump’s legal fees and costs associated with defending the lawsuit. The amount has yet to be determined.
Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti quickly filed a notice of an intention to appeal the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The dismissal of the defamation claim has no bearing on Daniels’ separate lawsuit challenging the validity of the non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2016 to keep quiet about her allegations of a sexual tryst with Trump in 2006.
Trump has denied her allegations.
The defamation claim from Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, was originally filed in New York federal court earlier this year. The lawsuit claimed Trump acted with “actual malice” and “reckless disregard for the truth” when he posted a tweet mocking her claim that she was threatened by an unknown man to stay silent. The case was later transferred to federal court in California.
In an April appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Daniels and Avenatti released a sketch of the man she claims menaced her and her toddler daughter in 2011 in a Las Vegas parking lot shortly after she granted an interview to In Touch magazine about her alleged relationship with Trump, then a real estate mogul and reality-TV star.
Daniels alleges the man told her to “leave Trump alone” and to “forget the story.”
The magazine didn’t publish its story about Daniels claims until January of 2018 – after the Wall Street Journal published the first accounts of a non-disclosure agreement signed just weeks before the 2016 election.
In interviews with The View and on CBS’ 60 Minutes earlier this year, Daniels intimated that either Trump or his then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, must have been behind the alleged threat.
To date, no evidence has emerged to support the claim.
One day after Daniels revealed the sketch – Trump ridiculed the claim on Twitter as “a sketch years later about a non-existent man.” He called it a “total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools.”