Steve Forbes shared some thoughts about the reports that former adult film actress Stormy Daniels used a copy of Forbes magazine to spank Donald Trump during a year-long sexual relationship she said began in 2006.
“The magazine has many multiple purposes,” Forbes told TheWrap on Thursday. “It’s an unusual way to get investment advice.”
Daniels, a one-time U.S. Senate prospect in Louisiana, made headlines after the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 in October 2016 to keep quiet about the alleged sexual encounter.
Daniels, who previously denied claims of an extramarital affair with Trump, offers lurid details about a relationship with the future president in a lengthy interview published this week by InTouch (the interview was conducted in 2011, before she reportedly signed a nondisclosure agreement).
Forbes addressed one of the more sordid details of the story in a brief interview while attending a launch party in New York City for James O’Keefe’s new book, “American Pravda.”
The 70-year-old multimillionaire, who still serves as Editor-in-Chief of the iconic magazine that bears his name, also said he was a tremendous fan of O’Keefe, who has gained a reputation as a conservative provocateur who has sometimes used misleading and highly edited undercover recordings to discredit liberal organizations.
“I think he’s done amazing work and he gets criticized but he’s exposed some pretty ugly things,” said Forbes, “When you do a lot of things you’re always going to get criticized. But his overall approach of trying to find out bad things going on, like Planned Parenthood, that’s for the good.”
In 2008, O’Keefe posed as a donor and secretly recorded a Planned Parenthood employee admitting that the organization would accept race-based donations. The sting, one of his earliest projects, was denounced by Planned Parenthood.
“We believe the individuals behind this are doing this not out of motivation to protect teens but, in fact, to discredit Planned Parenthood,” Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood International said at the time. “They went in with an objective to manipulate our staff, and they did succeed in manipulating our staff.”
(O’Keefe had no connection to a better-publicized 2015 sting operation by the anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress, which purported to show Planned Parenthood employees attempting to sell the remains of human fetuses. CMP’s highly edited videos sparked a national outcry, leading to calls for defunding Planed Parenthood as well as civil and criminal cases against the two SMP employees.)
“Steve was sharing his personal thoughts,” a magazine spokesperson told TheWrap.
Forbes told TheWrap he was unaware of O’Keefe’s attempted sting last fall of Washington Post reporters in which an operative for his nonprofit, Project Veritas, falsely told the paper that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore had engaged in sexual misconduct with her as a young girl.
The attempted sting was widely viewed as an effort to discredit the Washington Post’s credible reporting on accusations against Moore, who was ultimately defeated in a special election lat month.
O’Keefe declined to address the ethics or newsworthiness of the Washington Post sting during a public Q&A session at the Mandarin Oriental. In the past O’Keefe has been responsible for undercover projects against the New York Times, Twitter and the community advocacy organization ACORN. The provocateur was sued and ultimately paid a $100,000 settlement to an ACORN employee in 2013 after secretly recording him in his sting.
Forbes was joined in the Mandarin Oriental by other Veritas fans, including Fox News contributor Monica Crowley, former Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos, Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, pro-Trump journalist and Twitter activist Mike Cernovich and Shakespeare in the Park crasher Laura Loomer.