Shah refused to say whether Trump had watched the "60 Minutes" interview, but he did say, "The president strongly, clearly and has consistently denied these underlying claims," referring to the alleged tryst. Shah also said the president does not believe Daniels' claim that she was physically threatened in 2011 because "there is nothing to corroborate her claim."
Shah also took a shot at Daniels, saying: "The only person who has been inconsistent is the one making the claims." Daniels has signed at least three denials of the affair in recent years. She now says she made the denials under duress and out of fear for her safety.
Shah's responses illustrated the difficult position the White House press office finds itself in when it comes to the Daniels controversy.
Trump was said to be angry with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier this month, because Sanders acknowledged that Trump's lawyers had won an arbitration to compel Daniels to abide by the 2016 confidentiality agreement. Before that, no one in the White House had even confirmed the existence of the agreement.
Now, White House communications staff are reportedly frustrated at being made to answer questions about Daniels day after day, despite having had nothing to do with Trump and Daniels' agreement, which was signed in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign.
Complicating matters is Trump's refusal so far to say anything in response to Daniels' claims, save for denying the affair through his representatives.
Nor does Trump appear to be doing much to help his press team distance the White House from the scandal engulfing Cohen. On the contrary, Shah confirmed to reporters that the president had dinner with Cohen on Saturday night at Mar-A-Lago, Trump's resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
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