Trump Boasted About Sex With Stormy in Tahoe, Athlete Says

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

Donald Trump boasted about having sex with adult film star Stormy Daniels at the 2006 golf tournament where the two met, a celebrity athlete who played the tournament has said.

The athlete also told The Daily Beast that a decade later, in the run-up to the 2016 election, he received anonymous calls from strangers asking what he remembered of the weekend.

Daniels says she told confidantes at the time that she had sex with Trump, and has told her story repeatedly since. Trump has repeatedly denied having sex with Daniels.

Nonetheless, hush-money payments to Daniels around the 2016 election gave rise to the 34 felony counts of falsification of business records for which Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, is now on trial in New York.

Trump passed up the opportunity to deny sex with Daniels under oath. On Tuesday, lawyers for the former president and for the prosecution made closing arguments. The first former president ever criminally indicted, Trump could face jail if found guilty.

The celebrity athlete, who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity, citing fear of harassment or retaliation, said he was close to Trump and Daniels while they socialized at the 2006 American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.

Though Trump sometimes referred to Daniels indirectly as a “porn star,” the athlete said, he emphasized that it was understood among the golfers who heard the boasts that Trump, at the time best known as the host of reality TV show The Apprentice, was saying he had slept with Daniels.

“It was clear to me and everyone who heard him that he was talking about Stormy,” the athlete said, adding that Trump encouraged other celebs to try to have sex with Daniels, behavior the athlete described as “crass,” “gross,” and “stupid.”

Stormy Daniels attends the Los Angeles Premiere Of Neon's “Pleasure.”

Stormy Daniels attends the Los Angeles Premiere Of Neon’s Pleasure.

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

“He’d say all these things like, ‘You’ve gotta bang a porn star, it’s incredible,’ and, ‘It added 20 yards to my drive today,’” the athlete told The Daily Beast.

The athlete said he has not shared his story widely, and that prosecutors never approached him. His account appears to be the first publicly reported description of Trump telling people he had sex with Daniels around the time Daniels says he did.

Asked for a response to the athlete’s claims, Trump campaign communications director Steven Cheung falsely blamed the athlete’s decision to come forward on President Joe Biden’s political team.

“The Biden campaign is in freakout mode and will try anything to cling to power,” Cheung said. “Crooked Joe Biden is a failed president trying to distract from his disastrous tenure. Publishing lies, rumors and innuendos are the hallmarks of losing campaigns and desperate failing media outlets trying to stay afloat. It’s time to Make America Great Again and re-elect President Trump.”

But though the athlete’s account may create personal and political embarrassment for Trump, his trial on charges arising from hush-money payments to Daniels is now reaching its end.

Inside the Fateful Stormy Weekend That Led to Trump’s Criminal Trial

The veracity or otherwise of Daniels’ account did play a role. In opening remarks, for instance, Trump’s defense team argued that the encounter Daniels described might not have happened. They also argued, unsuccessfully, that parts of her testimony were grounds for a mistrial, then sought to discredit her version of events in an aggressive cross-examination.

Barb McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney and current professor at the University of Michigan School of Law, told The Daily Beast that in terms of the trial, she couldn’t immediately see substantial value in the athlete’s version of events, given the nature of the charges.

“It is a bit of a side issue, really,” McQuade said. “What matters is that business records were falsified within intent to conceal an undisclosed campaign contribution.”

While McQuade allowed that the athlete’s claim “bolsters the testimony of Stormy Daniels,” she was “not sure” if being able to prove the truth of Daniels’ allegation mattered as much as being able to prove that Trump “intended to conceal the allegation.”

While Daniels’ allegation was an important plank for Manhattan prosecutors who spent the last seven weeks building a criminal case against Trump, it wasn’t central to the charges.

District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg charged the former president for allegedly falsifying business records in service of covering up another crime—an alleged attempt to keep a lid on the $130,000 Trump’s former personal “fixer” Michael Cohen illegally paid Daniels the week before Election Day in 2016, thereby to keep the story from voters and boost Trump’s chances.

But another detail in the celebrity athlete’s account does seem to concern the hush payment.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks after exiting the courtroom during his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks after exiting his hush-money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

According to the athlete, shortly before the 2016 election, around the time Daniels’ hush-money payment was being negotiated, he received multiple calls from people who declined to identify themselves, asking what he remembered from the golf event 10 years before.

It was later revealed that in those final critical weeks before the election—amid political fallout from the Access Hollywood video, in which Trump boasted of grabbing women without permission—Trump associates were scrambling to “catch and kill” Daniels’ story, to stop it appearing in the press.

But that was not public information in 2016, and the athlete told The Daily Beast that at the time that he did not fully understand the reason for the calls, and did not answer the questions. In hindsight, he acknowledged, the calls seem “ominous.”

In Full Disclosure, her 2018 memoir, Daniels described her alleged liaison with Trump as “the least impressive sex I’d ever had.” In court this month, she dished out salacious testimony, saying Trump had been “blocking the way” in the bedroom and claiming she “blacked out” during sex, though she clarified that she had not felt “threatened verbally or physically.” At the time, Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, was nursing their newborn son, Barron Trump.

Daniels entered a non-disclosure agreement with Trump in 2016 but had previously described the alleged sexual encounter in a 2007 radio appearance—without naming Trump—and then more fully in a 2011 interview for In Touch magazine, when Trump was considering a White House run. Six years after giving her version of events in her memoir, Daniels testified to it in court this month.

Prosecutors Tell One Final Story About Trump’s Sordid Dealings

Daniels was invited to the golf tournament with colleagues from adult film production house Wicked Pictures. Trump invited her to dinner the first night but they never left his hotel room, she wrote.

The tournament scorecard published online shows that Trump finished 62nd in a field of 80 athletes, comedians, politicians, chefs, and other media personalities.

Competitors included Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who played at least one round with Trump, former Vice President Dan Quayle, daytime talk show icon Maury Povich, comedian Ray Romano, and Olympic figure skating gold medalist Scott Hamilton, who all finished ahead of Trump. Actor and scratch golfer Jack Wagner won the $100,000 grand prize, and former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, now a Trump campaign surrogate, finished last.

Daniels wrote in her memoir that the night after she and Trump had sex, she and Trump hung out with Roethlisberger—months off a Super Bowl victory—at a club at the resort.

Trump, Daniels claimed, asked “Big Ben” to look after her, and at the end of the night Roethlisberger escorted her back to her hotel room, where he asked for a “good night kiss.” Roethlisberger, the book said, lingered outside her room, knocking on the door for several minutes before he left—behavior that “terrified” Daniels, she wrote.

The anecdote (on which Roethlisberger declined to comment) also came up in Daniels’ testimony this month. (In 2012, Roethlisberger settled a civil lawsuit stemming from an allegation of rape at the 2008 Tahoe tournament.)

According to Daniels’ book, Trump’s overtures around the 2006 event included a potential slot on The Apprentice—even plotting a potential “cheat” to get her through extra rounds.

“We’ll figure out a way to get you the challenges beforehand,” Trump said, according to Daniels. “And we can devise your technique.”

“He was going to have me cheat, and it was 100 per cent his idea,” Daniels wrote.

Trump, however, was allegedly plotting some cheats of his own.

Trump’s approach to golf has been widely documented, not least in a book by the golf writer Rick Reilly called Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.

The athlete who spoke to The Daily Beast called Trump a “cheat,” claiming to have witnessed Trump kicking his own ball and clearing obstacles—“like these giant Tahoe pine cones the size of a baby’s head”—from his lie, in violation of the rules. He also said Trump left trails in sandtraps that clearly showed he had moved his ball, and falsely lowered his score.

Tournament officials learned of the cheating allegations, the athlete said, but it was unclear whether anything came of them.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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