In a television interview that appeared to contradict President Donald Trump’s prior statements, Trump’s new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Wednesday night that Trump had repaid Michael Cohen for the $130,000 he facilitated to Stormy Daniels in 2016.
“It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation,” Giuliani told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “[They] funneled through a law firm, and then the president repaid it.”
Later, Hannity returned to the topic, asking Giuliani to “clarify” what he was talking about.
“I was talking about the $130,000 payment, the settlement payment” Giuliani said bluntly, explaining, “That was money that was paid by his lawyer — the way I would do, out of his law firm funds, or whatever funds, it doesn’t matter — and the president reimbursed that over the period of several months.”
Rudy Giuliani says Trump knew about “the general arrangement” that Michael Cohen “would take care of things like” porn star payments and Trump repaid the $130,000 that Cohen paid to Stormy Daniels. pic.twitter.com/8TuSfwe5qM
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) May 3, 2018
Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, had facilitated the payment in connection with a 2016 settlement agreement signed by Stormy Daniels, the adult film star whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.
Asked aboard Air Force One on April 5 about whether he even knew about the payment, Trump simply said, “No.” Asked why Cohen made the payment, Trump said, “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”
— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) May 3, 2018
Asked whether Trump knew about the payment at the time, Giuliani said, “He didn’t know about the specifics of it, as far as I know. 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.”
Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ lawyer in two pending lawsuits against Trump, responded on Twitter, saying, “Mr. Trump stood on AF1 and blatantly lied. … This should never be acceptable in our America.”