Two days after Rudy Giuliani shockingly said that President Donald Trump reimbursed his personal attorney Michael Cohen for the hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels — confirming something that until then Trump had forcefully denied — the former New York mayor attempted to clarify his comments.
“The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the President’s family,” Giuliani said in a statement Friday, per the Washington Post. “It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.”
The new statement came just hours after Trump told reporters that Giuliani, who recently joined Trump’s legal team, is “learning the subject matter” and “he’ll get his facts straight.”
Giuliani, 73, spoke candidly on Fox News Wednesday about the alleged exchange of money that occurred between Trump and Cohen — which directly contradicted the president’s negation when he was asked by reporters in early April if he had any knowledge about the $130,000 payment.
“I’m giving you a fact that you don’t know,” Giuliani told Hannity. “It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation. They funneled [the $130,000] through a law firm and the president repaid it.”
After his interview with Hannity, Giuliani told The New York Times he had proof Trump had personally paid Cohen. As for why Giuliani would seemingly contradict his boss, the former mayor said it was to show the president had not violated any campaign finance laws.
“That removes the campaign finance violation and we have all the documentary proof for it,” he said, adding Cohen set up the initial payment “on his own authority.”
“Some time after the campaign is over, they set up a reimbursement, $35,000 a month, out of his personal family account,” Giuliani said.
In a different interview with the Washington Post, Giuliani said Cohen knew he would be reimbursed by Trump, which came in a “series of transactions.”
“The president was always going to make sure he got it back, and enough money to pay the taxes. There probably were other things of a personal nature that Michael took care of for which the president would have always trusted him as a lawyer,” Giuliani continued. “And that was paid back out of the rest of the money, and Michael earned a fee out of it.”
“He trusted Michael, and Michael trusted him,” he added.
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The morning after the interview, Trump acknowledged for this first time that he reimbursed Cohen for the payment to Daniels, but continued to deny that he had a sexual relationship with the porn star.
Giuliani and Hannity began trending on Twitter following the interview, with several commentators on Twitter writing they wished the former mayor had kept talking.
“Never thought I’d ever want Rudy Giuliani to keep talking,” former congressman John Dingell tweeted. “Noun, verb, $130,000.”
The Daily Show tweeted, “Ty Cobb right now,” alongside an image of Rich Uncle PennyBags, the mascot of the board game Monopoly.
In February, Cohen admitted he had paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, $130,000 a month before the 2016 presidential election so she’d keep quiet about the alleged sexual encounter.
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Cohen called it “a private transaction” in an interview with The New York Times and said the money came from his own pocket. The attorney, who worked as a counsel to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, also clarified he was not 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 at the time.