Trump insists Cohen payment to Stormy Daniels did not use campaign money | US news
Donald Trump insisted on Thursday that a payment by his lawyer Michael Cohen to the adult film star Stormy Daniels did not use presidential campaign funds, after it was revealed the president had personally repaid Cohen the $130,000 hush money.
Trump said that a contract with Daniels was aimed at stopping her from her making “false and extortionist accusations” about an alleged affair.
“Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll [sic] in this transaction,” the US president wrote in a series of early morning tweets.
In a bombshell interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News on Wednesday night, Rudy Giuliani, who recently joined Trump’s legal team, revealed Trump had personally repaid Cohen the $130,000 given to Daniels.
That disclosure contradicted Trump’s own firm statement, made on Air Force One last month, that he had no knowledge of Cohen’s payment to Daniels.
The president’s critics have said that the payment to Daniels, who claims she had sex with Trump in 2006 at a golf tournament in Nevada, could count as an illegal contribution to the Trump campaign.
On the Hannity show, Giuliani insisted that the payment was entirely legal and broke no campaign finance laws. “So they funnelled it through the law firm?” Hannity asked, referring to Cohen’s legal practice.
“Funnelled it through the law firm,” Giuliani concurred, “and the president repaid it.”
Hannity appeared to be surprised by the revelation. “Oh, I didn’t know that he did,” he said
“Yup,” replied Giuliani.
Michael Avenatti, who represents Daniels, told CNBC late on Wednesday: “This is exactly what we predicted would ultimately be shown. Every American, regardless of their politics, should be outraged.”
By disclosing Trump’s own financial involvement in the hush money, Giuliani and the president might be making the calculation that pain today is merited to minimize even greater grief further down the line. White House aides have been seriously concerned about the fallout of the FBI raid in April on the premises of Cohen’s law firm.