Hoo boy. Steve Cortes, like most Trump surrogates, is loyal to the point of absurdity. Here's another round between Cortes and the tag team of Erin Burnett and Joan Walsh on CNN last night.
Burnett asked Cortes about the news that porn star Jessica Drake is the other woman named in the Stormy Daniels non-disclosure agreement, and Trump claiming he doesn't know who she is. (Just another woman who was offered money by Trump for sex. You can see how he might get confused!)
"How damaging can this be, Steve?" she said.
No biggie, Cortes said. "Instead of talking about the diplomatic breakthroughs we made tonight, instead of talk being about the economy, ISIS smashed, what is the media fixated on? Tabloid smut. Allegations from people involved in pornography a decade ago. It's not relevant to what's going on today," he insisted.
"Certainly, if the president was aware of a payment made to her to help her silence in the election, that would be a crime and quite significant, I would argue," Burnett said.
Cortes said he was going to take the president's word over "someone involved in pornography." (O, the irony! He represents an entire party of lowlifes. And if Trump is having sex with porn stars, doesn't that make him "someone involved in pornography"?)
He tried to change the subject to Trump supporters who believed in him and wanted change.
"First of all, what Trump voters want or believe is not paramount," Joan Walsh said.
"The law is paramount. And don't ride Erin for not paying attention to the South Korea/North Korea breakthrough. She just spent 54 minutes on it. If a crime is committed, it's going to matter. I am also fascinated by the fact that Jessica Drake shows up here, she can corroborate some of the Stormy Daniels story. Conceivably, can Stormy Daniels or Stephanie Clifford, her real name, can she corroborate Jessica Drake's claims of President Trump's unwanted kissing, groping. It's all very relevant."
"This is an important story," Burnett reiterated. "Secondly, we spent almost 40 minutes talking about Korea on this show." “Thirdly, the White House pulled Peter Navarro, who was supposed to come on and give us a 10-minute interview about tariffs. So perhaps you, if you were working at the White House, wouldn’t have made such a poor decision, but that’s what they did. OK? So, let’s just be clear here. They don’t want to talk about the substance of things like tariffs, so they pulled him off the show.”
"I'm happy to talk about tariffs any time you want," Cortes said.
"You don't work for the White House, Peter Navarro does," she said..
Joan Walsh jumped back in. "He said there would be no exception, and suddenly, this agreement is riddled with exceptions, but maybe we're going to have exceptions for everybody."
"We are learning President Trump's upset with his press secretary, after she acknowledged his involvement in the arbitration with her. Obviously, that is significant too. His press secretary, Steve, is, one could argue at this point, the most loyal person in the White House to this president. And he's mad at her about Stormy Daniels," she said.
"Look, I don't know that that's true. If it is true, I'll say this. What Donald Trump did as a private citizen, as a hollywood celebrity a decade ago. is pretty irrelevant to me and probably to most working Americans. What's relevant is once he became a candidate," Cortes said.
"It matters if he violated federal election law by paying her off to win the election," Walsh said. "At least it seems it was a consensual consensual relationship. Do you care about coverups, do you care about crime?"
"The allegations of sexual misconduct against the president, then-candidate, were widely known by the American electorate," he said.
"So that doesn't matter?"
"They decided it was irrelevant or untrue or some combination of both."
"Do you care if he violated election law?" she said.
"Of course I care about that," he said.
"Then you care about Stormy Daniels," Walsh said.
"I don't care about Stormy Daniels," Cortes insisted. "I don't care what a porn star who has been shown already incredibly on the public record to be a liar several times. I really don't care what she says." (Because Trump has never lied on the record?)
Walsh said she wasn't talking about what Daniels said. She said the payoff was a possible violation of federal election law, and that was the story.
Cortes said responded by saying the media was picking on him because they didn't want to talk about all the wonderful things Trump has done.
Walsh said her final word was "poor Melania."
"But I really don't care about the consensual relationship with a porn star. I care whether she was paid off, and you should care, too, Steve."