Let’s start with the premise that the Stormy Daniels saga hasn’t gotten much traction because most Americans don’t care about it.

The alleged relationship happened a decade ago, it was said to be consensual, the public knew about Donald Trump’s playboy lifestyle and the “Access Hollywood” tape. So what did or didn’t happen in 2006 is hardly in the same league as Bill Clinton, as president, having a sexual relationship with an intern and lying about it.

But now it’s become a real-time melodrama, with allegations of hush money payments and attempts to silence the former porn star.

Reporters are suddenly asking Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the controversy at the daily briefing.

Now it’s become a legal issue as well as a political one.

Trump’s private lawyer, Michael Cohen, is trying to suppress Stormy’s story right now.

This would be the same Michael Cohen who, as the Wall Street Journal originally reported, paid Daniels $130,000 to stay quiet in the closing weeks of the 2016 campaign. Cohen has said he was not reimbursed by the Trump team, and reports say he was upset about that, but the money was paid.

Daniels did her part under the non-disclosure agreement and stayed quiet. When the story bubbled up again this year, Cohen put out a statement on her behalf denying any affair and any hush-money agreement.

Unfortunately for Daniels, she had described the supposed affair in great detail in a 2011 interview with In Touch magazine, which belatedly decided to publish it. The magazine has never explained why it didn’t run the story at the time, though there have been reports of legal threats from the Trump side.

None of this has been good for Stormy’s credibility. But now she claims she wants to tell the truth—and has sued the president to void the non-disclosure deal on the grounds that he never signed it.

We have learned, based on a New York Times story yesterday, that Cohen secretly sought a restraining order last week to keep

Daniels from speaking out. So this is no longer a matter of the ancient past.

Stormy’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has been on a television blitz. He said on “Today” that the $130,000 payment was an effort to “silence” Daniels and that “there’s no question the president knew about it at the time. The idea that an attorney would go off on his own, without his client’s knowledge and engage in this negotiation and enter this type of agreement is ludicrous.”

At Wednesday, briefing, Sanders pointed out that the president has denied having an affair with Daniels and that she was not aware whether Trump knew of the payment. She added that “this case has already been won in arbitration, and there was no knowledge of any payments from the president, and he has denied all these allegations.”

The reference to having “won” the case is based on a statement from Cohen’s lawyer that an arbitrator found that Daniels “violated the agreement.” But Avenatti, who doesn’t consider the ruling final, likened that claim to Trump having won the Electoral College.

Ultimately there could be a campaign-finance law violation if the 130K was paid for the purpose of influencing the election by muzzling Stormy Daniels.

I’m well aware that many people dismiss this as tabloid trash, along with the allegations from the same period by Karen McDougal, a former Playboy playmate who was paid $150,000 by the National Enquirer in 2016 when she was threatening to disclose an affair with Trump.

I don’t really care what Trump did in his personal life as a businessman. So many other stories, from tariffs to guns to immigration, are more important.

But right now we have an ongoing attempt by the president’s lawyer to silence a former X-rated film actress and an unexplained six-figure payoff that smells like hush money. No wonder this story isn’t going away.