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The Fine Line Between Extortion and Hush Money

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This past Sunday I wrote about why certain salacious stories regarding the president, stories widely circulated in certain camps, were gaining no traction among Christian Conservatives.  Turns out both myself and David French, who I was responding to, missed a reason – the story is not true.

An adult film star who previously alleged an extramarital affair with Donald Trump now says in a statement the affair never happened.

And yet:

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Trump’s personal lawyer brokered a $130,000 payment to [name redacted] in October 2016 to keep her from publicly discussing it.

Hmmm.  If the affair never happened, but she was paid not to talk about it, is the payment extorted money or hush money?

The thrust of my Sunday post concerned the efficacious use of the Christian voice in such circumstances and my main points stand even with this revelation.  But this episode reveals that some were too fast to believe this story, even some Republicans.

There is an old saying, unattributable, that says, When arguing with a fool, make sure he is not similarly occupied.”  Somehow I cannot help but think we had “fools” telling and “fools” believing this story – people whose bias’ and prejudices made them just a bit too eager to assume veracity.

At some point our divisiveness is going to get the better of us.


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