Calling it “a private transaction,” Michael D. Cohen told the New York Times on Tuesday that he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to Daniels, born Stephanie Clifford, in 2016.
Cohen, who worked as a counsel to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, also clarified that he has not been compensated by Trump.
“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly. The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone,” Cohen said in a statement.
In January, the Wall Street Journal reported that a lawyer for Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to Daniels a month before the 2016 election so she’d keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter less than four months after Trump’s wife, now-First Lady Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron, now 11.
Cohen and the White House have denied the allegation of an affair.
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That same month, In Touch magazine published excerpts from a shelved 2011 interview with Daniels, in which she describes multiple alleged sexual encounters with Trump, including a July 2006 golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.
In a statement released by Cohen on her behalf, Daniels said allegations that she had a sexual or romantic affair with Trump were “completely false.”
On Jan. 30, a second statement seemingly issued by Daniels read: “I am not denying this affair because I was paid ‘hush money’ as has been reported in overseas owned tabloids. I am denying this affair because it never happened.”
However, hours later, during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Daniels hinted that the denial was not hers, pointing out the differences in her signatures when host Jimmy Kimmel showed collectibles that were previously autographed by her.