Trump lawyer admits paying porn star Stormy Daniels | 2018-02-15 | daily-sun.com

Trump lawyer admits paying porn star Stormy Daniels

BBC     15th February, 2018 12:09:59 printer

Trump lawyer admits paying porn star Stormy Daniels

The long-term personal lawyer of US President Donald Trump has admitted privately paying an adult film star $130,000 (£95,000) in 2016, in a statement to US media.

 

It follows US media reports that the porn actress known as Stormy Daniels was paid to sign an agreement stopping her discussing an alleged affair.

 

She first said she had a relationship with Trump in a 2011 interview.

 

The lawyer has previously said Trump "vehemently denies" it occurred.

 

"Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Clifford [Stephanie Gregory Clifford, her real name], and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly," Michael D Cohen told the New York Times.

 

He said he told the Federal Election Commission the same after a watchdog group filed a complaint about the payment, claiming that it had served as an "in-kind" political contribution to Trump's campaign.

 

"The payment to Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone," Cohen said.

 

In a 2011 interview with InTouch magazine, the actress said she began a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006, shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to his son Barron.

 

The reports re-emerged in January when the Wall Street Journal reported that she was paid to sign a non-disclosure agreement in the run up to the 2016 election, which prevented her from discussing the alleged liaison.

 

Clifford was believed to be in discussion with US media about an television appearance to discuss Trump at the time, the report said.

 

Responding to questions from CNN about why the payment was made, Cohen said: "Just because something isn't true doesn't mean that it can't cause you harm or damage."

 

"I will always protect Trump," Cohen added.

An X-rated cover-up?

Donald Trump's lawyer and all-around fixer Michael Cohen has said he doesn't plan "further comment" on his six-figure payment to Stormy Daniels. His statements, however, raise more questions than they answer.

 

While he said the money came from his "personal funds" and was not reimbursed directly or indirectly by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign, that leaves open the possibility that he was compensated by other parties - including Trump himself.

 

Why, in his generosity, would Cohen give $130,000 to Daniels? The Wall Street Journal has reported that it was in exchange for a non-disclosure agreement about a decade-old affair between Trump and Daniels.

Circumstantial evidence - that Daniels had been in contact with media outlets prior to the transfer and has since gone silent - lends credence to this line.

 

Even though the alleged affair is long since past, a story about possible hush money and an attempted cover-up just weeks before the presidential election is much more dangerous for a White House already on its heels. And if it turns out there's more to the money trail than has been disclosed, an embarrassing situation could quickly morph into a criminal inquiry.

 

On 30 January, Daniels' publicist released a statement in her name denying having an affair with Trump.

 

But many - including Daniels herself - were quick to note that the signature attached to that denial did not bear much resemblance to another copy of her autograph which had been attached to an earlier statement.

 

That denial had been released by Cohen on 10 January.

 

She has since made several public appearances on television and at strip clubs, but has remained tight-lipped when asked directly about Trump in interviews.

 

Minutes after Trump's first formal State of the Union address to Congress, she gave an interview to late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

 

In it, she refused to directly answer whether she had signed a non-disclosure agreement, or if she had "ever made love to someone whose name rhymes with Lonald Lump".


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