- President Donald Trump reportedly knew about the $130,000 payment his longtime personal attorney made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, long before he denied any knowledge of it, The New York Times reports.
- The transaction took place in October 2016, just before the presidential election.
- It was not immediately clear exactly when Trump learned of the payment.
President Donald Trump reportedly knew about a $130,000 payment his longtime personal attorney made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, months before he flatly denied having knowledge of the transaction, two people familiar with the incident told The New York Times in a report published on Friday.
Attorney Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Daniels was made as part of a nondisclosure agreement meant to prohibit Clifford from discussing a sexual affair she said she had with Trump in 2006.
Trump is believed to have known that Cohen paid Daniels before the US presidential election, effectively burying bombshell allegations that various media companies were vying to publish. Sources told The Times that it was not clear exactly when Trump learned about the payment.
The president’s potential knowledge of the payment has come under intense scrutiny after Rudy Giuliani, the former NYC mayor and new member of Trump’s legal team, unexpectedly admitted that Trump personally reimbursed Cohen.
“[Trump] didn’t know about the specifics of it, as far as I know,” Giuliani said to Fox News host Sean Hannity in an interview. “But he did know about the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this, like I take care of things like this for my clients. I don’t burden them with every single thing that comes along. These are busy people,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani later clarified his remarks and classified Trump’s payments as “reimbursement” for “incidental expenses.” Trump paid Cohen a combined total of $460,000 or $470,000 that Cohen had accrued on his behalf, according to Giuliani.
“Some time after the campaign is over, they set up a reimbursement, $35,000 a month, out of his personal family account,” he said, according to another report from The Times.
Giuliani further walked back his remarks in a statement on Friday, after the payment raised questions on potential campaign-finance law violations
“There is no campaign violation,” he said in a statement. “The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the President’s family.”
“It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not,” Giuliani continued.