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GOP's Sanford Braves Storm, Speaks About Porn Star Payment

by Countable | Updated on 3.8.18

What’s the story?

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) is no stranger to sexual scandal. He was nearly impeached in 2009 when an extramarital affair he conducted with an Argentinian woman was exposed, after he disappeared from the state without a trace for a week. Even he had to admit the irony when he was the only Republican lawmaker willing to speak at length to Washington Post reporters about the hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels over an alleged affair with President Trump.

But perhaps he is the perfect person to raise questions from the right. He knows exactly what it is to have his indiscretions exposed to the world and live to tell the tale.

Here are highlights of his comments to the Post:

  • "It’s nefarious, it’s awkward, it’s unpleasant, it’s unseemly. It’s not something people feel that comfortable talking about, but frankly it’s something we ought to talk about, because it is a big deal."

  • "People make mistakes, and they do things that they regret. That said, hush money is a big deal, particularly if it’s not ancient history. We’re talking about a payment in October of 2016. That is not a long time ago. We’re talking about money that was exchanged in the midst of a presidential campaign. I think that’s problematic, and I think it needs to be viewed for what it is."

  • "If the shoe were on the other foot and there was a Democratic presidential candidate who had done the same, Republicans would probably be holding hearings right now. So what we can’t do is circle the wagons based on tribalism and say we’re going to protect those in our tribe. … That doesn’t work and it’s part of what drives a lot of people away from politics. I think we have to be evenhanded in condemnation of things that people get wrong. We need to offer grace in the process, but we also need to be evenhanded in calling an ace an ace. And what went on here — because it is in fact part of a larger pattern on this front — strikes me as wrong, troublesome, and something worthy of both further study and condemnation."

What do you think?

Do you agree with Rep. Sanford? Should there be hearings about the payments to Stormy Daniels (AKA Stephanie Cliffords)? Is this an issue of fairness? What should we expect from our leaders in regards to behavior? And how should it be handled when they don’t meet expectations?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(112)
  • UncleDavo
    03/08/2018
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    To hear a republican, and one who has had a similar scandal no less, being on the side of reason is refreshing. The idea of treating this as a bipartisan issue instead of Republicans protecting their own is what a step in the direction of what this country needs.

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  • Arlene
    03/08/2018
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    Bravo to Stanford for being a human being first and republican second. Hey. He got ostracized for having an affair. Trump paid hush money a week before election to cover up his affair. AND REPUBLICANS SAY. And DO NOTHING????

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  • Chickie
    03/08/2018
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    Here’s the thing, yes, we all make mistakes. However, if you behave incredulously superior, thinking you don’t have to answer to anyone, and you constantly lie to everyone, (and yourself), your mistakes glare! #45 is supposed to be the President of the US. Instead he is a reality television personality, who bankrupt his businesses several times and in doing so caused many contractors to go belly up. #45 has made no secret of his low opinion of women and how he chooses to disrespect them. Why are folks surprised that #45 is treating our country in the same deplorable, and disposable manner? Given his inflated ego, there is NO WAY #45 did not know hush money was paid out. Just the same as there is NO WAY #45 did not know about the meeting at Trump Towers with his sons, son-in-law and election campaign team. One word here: INVESTIGATE.

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  • J
    03/08/2018
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    Kudos to Sanford. He hit the nail on the head. Tribalism undermines moral and ethical authority, no matter the party. This stinks and needs to be thoroughly investigated.

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  • Sandra
    03/08/2018
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    This is just further proof that the man that (sometimes) resides at 1600 Pennsylvania is amoral, unethical and hedonistic.

    Like (51)
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  • C
    03/08/2018
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    I frankly couldn’t care less about the sex life of the president or, force that matter, anyone else. The only person’s sex life that holds any interest for me is my own. That being said, I am concerned about hush money paid as an illegal contribution to the Trump campaign and you should be too. If you people have such great ideas and great candidates why do you have to cheat to win?

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  • John
    03/08/2018
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    The affair between 45 and Stormy Daniels is a matter between them and Melania to work out. The payment of money for sex and for silence, however, are criminal acts that deserve to be adjudicated. They are representative of 45’s blatant disregard for the law.

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  • Nancy
    03/08/2018
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    He is correct. If the shoe was on the Democratic foot there would be hearings. Paying hush money is horrible and this needs to be dealt with and sooner not later.

    Like (19)
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  • Roger
    03/08/2018
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    Horray for Rep Sanford. Such misconduct by our elected leaders needs to be confronted and condemned. And the censure needs to come from the offender’s own party. (Think Sen. Franken) The insistence on moral and ethical behavior by our leaders is what Levitsky and Ziblatt in their book “ How Democracies Die” (highly recommended) refer to as one of the guardrails of our democracy. To turn a blind eye to such behavior is to condone an autocratic government that we will ALL come to deeply regret.

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  • Diana
    03/08/2018
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    I absolutely agree with Sanford. In the past, Republicans and like-minded others would wave their righteous flags and bellow “this is not a man we want to lead the country.” They would use the Evangelists to make a case about moral corruption. Bill Clinton did not stand a chance when their fingers pointed his way. We owe Richard Nixon an apology. His actions pale to Trump’s. When will the ‘Hill’ find courage to do the right things that will once again make us feel proud to be Americans. Every day there is a barrage of awfulness connected to this President. It has heighten anxiety and erased civility in communities. I beg our leaders to lead in an exemplary fashion-close this chapter soon. I am counting on men and women who can find courage to be the voices of the masses.

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  • Robert
    03/08/2018
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    It should be handled without regard for the political persuasion of the offender. If it were a Democrat, the republicans would be howling for his head. Just get rid of the pig so we can return to a more—slightly more—civil form of government.

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  • Christine
    03/08/2018
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    I absolutely agree with Rep. Sanford. There should be hearings on the payment to Stormy Daniels. This payment was about the election and that is not right. djt has to answer for his behavior, he does not get a “mulligan”.

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  • DrCindyBean
    03/09/2018
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    Stormy money and cover up problem yes. Probably violations of election finance laws and more. ——-But no sanctions against Russia is a problem. Having Putin’s puppet in WH is a problem. Kushner and trump selling foreign policy for their own personal profit is a problem. Emoluments violations foreign and domestic are problems. Violations of anti nepotism laws are problems. Russia still attacking USA with disinformation campaigns and trump and GOP support of that disinformation is a problem. And propaganda and gaslighting from the WH is a problem. The fact that trump and Russia conspired against the USA to cheat in the 2016 elections is a HUGE problem. We have lots of problems. Every one has trump’s name on it. Along with the other corrupt cronies and criminals and traitors and money laundering mobsters in our WH - due to Putin and GOP evil corrupt acts.

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  • Karan
    03/08/2018
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    I’m not happy that Trump possibly slept with a pornstar in 2005 while married but our country has more important things to focus on.

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  • Stephanie
    03/08/2018
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    I think there SHOULD be TRIALS on ALL of their BEHAVIORS! Not just with Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Danials). It is REFRESHING to HEAR a Republican say this, BRAVO! Way to go! I wish more Politicians were interested in truths INSTEAD of LIES.

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  • OldTimer
    03/08/2018
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    Good grief. It is an absolute miracle that Trump has been able to get anything done in Washington. Whatever happened to the attitude of, “I may not care for the person but I give him the respect due for the office that he holds?” The reason people used to respect the office of President is because to do otherwise hurts everyone in the country because, just as we’ve seen happening in recent years, nothing gets done which hurts the whole country. Personally I could care less about anybody’s sex life other than my own. It scares me to see how much sway the media has in manipulating politics and policy in our country but, more than that it scares me to see how willing a growing percentage of the population who would be happy to see our country become socialist or even a monarchy. The thing that bothers me most however is the willingness to persecute someone when the full story is not known. Nowadays the saying has become “innocent until proven guilty” it used to be “innocent unless proven guilty” I know it is only a little word change but, it does have big implications. Being “innocent until proven guilty” is saying it is a foregone conclusion that the person will indeed be guilty. Seriously people need to take a deep, slow breath and think about things a bit.

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  • Dennis
    03/08/2018
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    Republicans would be totally frenetic if this had been Obama but are totally silent now. This speaks so loudly as to the depths they have sunk. Who called out Franken after allegations? Democrats. Hmmmmmm Right is right and wrong is wrong no matter who is in power.

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  • Shawn
    03/09/2018
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    I can’t believe I’m agreeing wholeheartedly with the views of a Republican in Congress on this, but Sen. Sanford is exactly right. All elected officials must be held to the same high standards regardless of party affiliation. I realize there are much bigger issues at hand for American people (many in which I differ in opinion from the Senator) and even bigger scandals in this administration, but if Democrats and Republicans can at least align behind this and say it is wrong and should not go undiscussed and unpunished, I believe we can have some justice. At first I was reluctant to give this issue too much attention thinking it’s more tabloid distraction, but after realizing the moral and legal implications presented in this particular scandal, I realize this would be more than enough to have put Bill Clinton away, let alone any other president, and for Democrats to not speak up and call for justice would be s sign of weakness and lack of leadership. Please see this through with the same due process and diligence as the Special Council’s investigation into Russian meddling in our elections.

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  • Ernest
    03/08/2018
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    “If the shoe were on the other foot and there was a Democratic presidential candidate who had done the same, Republicans would probably be holding hearings right now.”... and what is the response from the Democrats?

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  • Andrea
    03/09/2018
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    Of course there should be an investigation. If a Democrat President had done the same thing, they would have been hanged. Where are your morals now Republicans? This administration is the joke of the world. The corruption, the collusion with Russia, the blatant disrespect of women and his marriage are not family values. Investigate and lock them all up. Drain the swamp for real.

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