President Donald Trump repaid his attorney Michael Cohen the $130,000 Cohen has acknowledged paying porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election for her silence about their alleged affair in 2006, the president's new lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, said Wednesday night.
Appearing on Fox News Channel's "Hannity," Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and ex-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Manhattan whom Trump hired to join his personal legal team last month, appeared to contradict numerous assertions by both Trump and Cohen, who said he had paid Daniels with his own funds and without Trump's knowledge.
"That was money that was paid by his lawyer," Giuliani told host Sean Hannity. "The president reimbursed it over several months."
Giuliani cast the statement as substantiation that the payment didn't constitute an illegal campaign contribution, as many Democrats and other critics of Trump have contended, asserting that it didn't come from campaign funds.
The payment, he said, is "going to turn out to be perfectly legal."
"That money was not campaign money," he said of Trump's reimbursement. "Sorry — I'm giving you a fact that you don't know. It's not campaign money — no campaign finance violation."
As recently as last month, Trump denied that he had been aware at the time that Cohen had paid Daniels.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, the president said not only that he hadn't known about the payment but also that he didn't know where the money had come from.
Asked why Cohen paid Daniels, Trump replied: "You'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You'll have to ask Michael."
And it was only last month, in an interview on Fox News, that Trump even acknowledged that Cohen had represented him in the "crazy Stormy Daniels deal." The president then went on to reiterate that he had nothing to do with Cohen's business after the lawyer's office and hotel room were raided by the FBI.
Cohen and White House aides have denied that Trump had an affair with Daniels.
This is a breaking news story. Refresh this page for updates.