Stormy Daniels is strutting down the aisle. Then she’s on me, wrapping her boa around my neck and pulling me into her chest.
At about the same time that Donald Trump is announcing his Supreme Court nomination in the East Room of the White House, Daniels, the president’s alleged mistress and maybe a key witness in the criminal case against Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, is pulling people into her cleavage in the Cloakroom strip club about a mile away.
We’re left to wonder: are we watching the woman who is about to bring down a president, and whose actions are thus freighted with historical import? Or is this all extremely pointless?
“Even if it’s fake, it’s still going to be something that’s in history,” said Peter, a Cloakroom regular who paid the $50 general admission charge to see Daniels on Monday night.
Daniels has danced across the country since reports came out that she had slept with Trump in 2006. And now she’s in Washington, right in time to help revive a strip club that literally collapsed in on itself four years ago.
The Cloakroom’s literal collapse on a Spring afternoon in 2014 left scantily-clad women fleeing onto a brightly lit K Street. “All that jiggling must have brought the joint down,” quipped one paper. For its reopening campaign this summer, Daniels was the obvious choice.
“Who would you bring to your grand opening?” Andre de Moya, the owner of The Cloakroom, asked The Daily Beast rhetorically.
Daniels’s appearance was billed as running between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., but it soon became clear that Daniels wouldn’t appear until the very last minutes before 9.
For the crowd, a mix of regulars, journalists, and #resistance types—including a woman covered in “Love Trumps Hate” body paint—that meant watching dancers that the DJ insisted “don’t bite” and buying more drinks.
The Cloakroom capitalized on Daniels’ appearance with drink specials—“The Trump,” a $30 old-fashioned, and “The Melania,” a $20 spritz.
Irina, a Russian expat who’s lived in the U.S. for more than a decade, came to the Daniels performance to see “what our president’s been inside.”
“I want to see (Daniels) in a leather dominance situation,” Irina said. “Because she’s dominating our president.”
Instead, Daniels—whose arrival was heralded by the DJ announcing that it was “about to get Stormy!”—danced to “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in a sort of ’50s image of Manhattan glamour, with red sparkles and a bow on her back. The club came alive for the few minutes she was on stage, with a laundry basket on hand to collect her money.
Madison, a Cloakroom dancer, said she was as curious as anyone to see Daniels because of her alleged affair with Trump.
“He’s probably right down the street right now,” she said. “Maybe he’ll come.”