Porn star Stormy Daniels sat down with Jimmy Kimmel Tuesday night to talk about -- or, more accurately, dance around -- why President Donald Trump's personal lawyer may have directed a $130,000 payment to her just before the 2016 election.
It was -- even by Daniels' standards -- weird.
Kimmel repeatedly tried to pin Daniels -- real name: Stephanie Clifford -- down on whether or not she had conducted an affair with Trump in the mid-2000s, whether she had signed a non-disclosure agreement to not talk about the alleged relationship and whether or not her signature on a statement denying the affair was actually, well, her signature.
And she repeatedly sought to stoke speculation with non answers, rhetorical winks and you-know-what-I-means.
A few examples:
* KIMMEL: This is fascinating, the signature on the original statement doesn't match the signature on this statement and I went through my library of photographs of you to compare it, head shots that you have signed and these seem to match the original statement and am I getting at anything. Did you sign this letter that was released today?
DANIELS: I don't know did I? Doesn't look like my signature does it?
KIMMEL: It doesn't look like your signature. You're saying perhaps this letter was written and released without your approval?
DANIELS: Hmm. Ha ha.
* KIMMEL: I know you either do or don't have a non-disclosure agreement. Which if you didn't have a non-disclosure agreement -- do you have a non-disclosure agreement?
DANIELS: Do I?
KIMMEL: You can't say. But if you didn't, you certainly could say I don't have a non-disclosure agreement.
DANIELS: You're so smart Jimmy.
* KIMMEL: I apologize, I have one more question Have you ever made love to someone whose name rhymes with Ronald Rump
DANIELS: I'll call you whatever you want me to baby.
To quote Maude Lebowski: You can imagine where it goes from there.
It's very, very hard to know what to make of the interview. Especially when you consider that Daniels put out a statement -- via her publicist -- just before appearing with Kimmel that said: "I am denying this affair because it never happened."
Is Daniels just trying to make her 15 minutes last as long as possible by playing at knowing something she can't say? Or is there some sort of there there? It's impossible to know.
Here's what we do know -- courtesy of Wall Street Journal reporting: Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen established an LLC in Delaware, a state famous for its lack of corporate transparency, and used that company to make a $130,000 payment to Daniels. No one disputes that happened. Cohen -- and Daniels in a statement -- have denied any romantic relationship between the president and the porn star. No one has offered an alternative explanation for why a six digit sum was transferred to Daniels.
The answer to that question -- If this wasn't hush money then what was it? -- is very important. So we need to just keep asking for it.