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Trump battens down hatches as storm swirls over porn star tryst

US President Donald Trump has been abnormally quiet as allegations of an extramarital affair with a porn star draw national intrigue
AFP

Washington (AFP) – Donald Trump on Wednesday remained uncharacteristically silent amid a slew of allegations against him by adult film actress Stormy Daniels, holding no public appearances for a fifth straight day.

Not known to be a shy about voicing his opinion, the US president has not tweeted or commented about allegations he had extramarital sex with the now 39-year-old porn star, and has battened down the hatches at the White House.

He has not been seen in public since Daniels gave a blockbuster interview detailing her story on Sunday, an unusually long time for any modern US president. 

The normally camera-hungry Republican leader has closed a series of White House events to the press, which routinely uses such occasions to ask him about issues of the day.

During the Sunday interview Daniels alleged the pair had unprotected sex after meeting at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in July 2006 — shortly after Trump’s wife Melania gave birth to their son.

Sarah Sanders, denied  Trump’s schedule was out of the ordinary and suggested the White House had not closed ranks.

“There have been a number of major things that the president has taken action on and been engaged on,” she said.

“We take questions from you guys every day in a number of different formats.” 

The last glimpse of Trump was leaving Air Force One as he return from Florida last Sunday before the interview aired on CBS.

On Thursday, he will emerge from the White House to travel to Ohio to give a speech to supporters, before returning to Florida for a weekend at his estate and golf course for a long weekend.

The Sunday night interview featured few new details, but brought the porn star’s long-simmering allegations of sex, hush money and intimidation to a national audience directly for the first time.

On Monday morning Trump tweeted cryptically: “So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!” 

But fearing any comment would fuel the controversy, Trump has sent lieutenants Sarah Sanders and Raj Shah out to deny the encounter.

“The president has strongly, clearly and has consistently denied” the allegations, Shah said Monday.

Sanders echoed that theme, claiming that Trump has spoken at length about the issue.

He has never publicly denied the accusations or issued a statement denying them.

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