A Stormy (Daniels) situation: Donald Trump's porn-star (non)-scandal

Stormy Daniels poses at a 2017 adult entertainment convention. Image copyright Getty Images

Call it the October surprise that didn't happen - and a presidential scandal that doesn't seem to be catching fire. Yet.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's personal lawyer, set up a private company that allegedly made a $130,000 (£94,000) payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her agreement not to discuss a year-long extramarital affair she had with Mr Trump that began in 2006.

The payment reportedly took place on 17 October, 2016 - just weeks before Mr Trump's shocking general election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

To place that in the timeline of major presidential election events, that was just 10 days after the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Mr Trump boasted of making unwanted sexual advances on women made headlines, and 11 days before James Comey's equally infamous letter re-opening the investigation into Mrs Clinton's email server.

Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has said the president "vehemently denies any such occurrence, as has Ms Daniels", while the White House called the WSJ story "old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election".

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Shutdown: Be careful what you wish for, President Trump

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It was a busy morning for Donald Trump on Twitter, and his latest fusillade is creating headaches for his own party.

First, the president denied a statement from his chief of staff yesterday that his views on a Mexican border wall had "evolved" (despite the fact that he has, in fact, changed his position). Then he threw sand, a wrench, an entire toolbox into the gears of his party's efforts to pass a temporary spending bill to keep the government open past Friday night.

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Ten ways Trump has changed America

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Image caption Trump signed a bill to increase Nasa funding last March

It's a quarter of the way through Donald Trump's presidential term - long enough to judge his performance so far.

There have been promises kept, promises broken and promises ignored. But how much have his policies changed things?

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A glimpse of a different Trump in action

Donald Trump speaks at a bipartisan meeting with senators. Image copyright Getty Images

There's an old saying attributed to Otto von Bismark that laws and sausage are two things people should never watch being made. For nearly an hour on Tuesday, however, the public was given a window into the ongoing Washington negotiations over immigration issues - and the picture it painted wasn't as stomach-churning as might be imagined.

Yes, all parties - Donald Trump and Republican and Democratic legislators - were keenly aware that the cameras were rolling. And, yes, the bottom line is what the parties are willing to agree to when pen is put to paper and votes are recorded. What's more, Mr Trump has expressed openness to immigration compromise in the past, only to revert to his more pugnacious habits. But in a political environment riddled with acrimony and abuse, we got a rare glimpse - for a moment - on how the machinery of government could function in a more productive fashion.

Trump the negotiator

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Oprah Winfrey - does speech provide clues about presidential run?

Oprah Winfrey smiles for the cameras after her Golden Globe speech. Image copyright Getty Images

During the opening of the 2018 Golden Globe Awards programme, host Seth Meyers toyed with the idea of a possible Oprah Winfrey presidential campaign. When Winfrey took the stage later that night, the speech she gave was no joke.

There are reports emerging in the US that she is actively entertaining the notion.

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Fire and Fury: Winners and losers from Trump-Bannon feud

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In the world of US politics, 2018 has arrived with fire and fury.

Donald Trump has split with former top adviser Steve Bannon.

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Donald Trump faces tough January tests

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Donald Trump spent 11 days golfing and tweeting from his oceanside resort, basking in the warmth of the southern Florida sun and the glow of successful passage of a tax-reform bill, the first major piece of legislation of his nearly year-old presidential term.

Now Mr Trump has returned to Washington, where he faces the cold reality of a January filled with deadlines, hard decisions and an ever-lingering potential for missteps and bad news - a winter of peril for a presidency balanced on a knife's edge.

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Trump-Russia inquiry: Why attacks on Robert Mueller are mounting

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Image caption Attacks on Robert Mueller have been mounting

In recent weeks, conservative commentators and politicians have begun arguing, with growing intensity, that Robert Mueller's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia is the result of an intentional effort by biased investigators to undermine the Trump presidency.

There are a number of components to the case they are presenting, from doubts about the impartiality of Mr Mueller and his team to questions about the integrity of the FBI and the Obama-era Justice Department.

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Roy Moore defeat: Five consequences of Alabama election

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Media captionWhat the Alabama upset will mean for Donald Trump's agenda

Christmas has come early for Democrats, who notched a surprise win in Alabama in one of the most unpredictable, improbable Senate races in modern memory. But what kind of mark will this vote leave on US politics?

The last time Alabama elected a Democratic US senator was 25 years ago.

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Democrats go soul-searching in Iowa

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face different directions at a 2016 campaign event. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption After 2016 defeats, Democrats are being pulled in different directions

On a mild late-November night in Iowa, Alec Baldwin gave Democrats what they wanted to hear - and then told them what he thought they needed to hear.

The actor, who is probably most famous at this point for his scathing impersonation of Donald Trump on the comedy show Saturday Night Live, led with a reprise of his role, sans wig and makeup. He quipped about the curriculum of an imagined "Trump University" and read a presidential letter to the "Electoral College losers" in the audience - as the roughly 3,000 Democratic officeholders and activists who gathered in a Des Moines convention hall for the state party's annual Fall Gala laughed along.

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