President Donald Trump admitted in a series of tweets on Thursday that he reimbursed his personal attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels in the final days of the 2016 election

By Tierney McAfee
May 03, 2018 10:57 AM
Advertisement

President Donald Trump admitted in a series of tweets on Thursday that he reimbursed his personal attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels in the final days of the 2016 election. The confession contradicts Trump’s past claims that he didn’t know anything about the payment, and comes after the latest addition to his legal team, Rudy Giuliani, revealed the reimbursement in a bombshell interview on Wednesday night.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has claimed that the payment was made to keep her silent about an affair she allegedly had with the president in 2006. Trump has denied the affair and continued to do so in his tweets on Thursday.

“Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA,” Trump wrote. “These agreements are……..very common among celebrities and people of wealth. In this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in Arbitration for damages against Ms. Clifford (Daniels).”

Trump went on to say that Daniels’ affair claims were “false and extortionist” and pointed out that she signed a letter admitting there was no affair. Trump also responded to suggestions that Cohen’s payment to Daniels may have amounted to an illegal contribution to the Trump campaign, saying, “Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll [sic] in this transaction.”

That seemed to be the point Giuliani was trying to make when he appeared on Fox News on Wednesday and told Sean Hannity that Trump did in fact reimburse Cohen for the $130,000 payment.

The former mayor of New York City, 73, spoke candidly on Fox News about the alleged exchange of money that occurred between Trump and Cohen — which directly contradicted the president’s statements last month on-board Air Force One, when he told reporters that he was not aware of the payment and he didn’t know where Cohen got the money.

“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.”

“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.” (The Washington Post begs to differ, arguing that there was still “almost certainly a campaign finance violation” because the payment was more than likely made to aid Trump’s candidacy.)

In February, Cohen admitted to paying Daniels $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election, calling it “a private transaction” and insisting that the money came out of his own pocket. The attorney, who worked as a counsel to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, also claimed he had 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 at the time.

Meanwhile, on Twitter Thursday, Daniels was anything but silent. Taking aim at Trump’s go-to fixer, she wrote:

“I don’t think Cohen is qualified to “clean up” my horse’s manure. Too soon? #basta #TeamStormy.”