Trump Lawyer Says $130K Payment to Stormy Daniels Came From His Own Pocket

Michael Cohen, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, told The New York Times on Tuesday that he personally paid $130,000 to a porn actress, Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, received the apparent hush money just before Election Day in 2016, The Wall Street Journal first reported. “Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen said. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.” According to the Times, Cohen refused to answer questions about “whether Mr. Trump had been aware that he made the payment, what the motivation was, or whether he had made similar payments to other people over the years.” Cohen hadn’t always been toeing this line, however. According to multiple sources who were speaking to Cohen at the time, he had told friends privately in the initial aftermath of the Journal story that news of his role in the six-figure payment was “bullshit” and “fake news.” His statement to the Times suggests he was not being forthcoming in these comments to associates. —Asawin Suebsaeng