In an interview on the Fox News show “Hannity,” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani stated that President Donald Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen $130,000 after Stormy Daniels was paid for her silence.
Giuliani was hired to be part of the president’s legal team in April 2018.
Cohen has stated that he paid Daniels out of his own pocket, without Trump’s knowledge. If this is true: How and why would Trump pay money he was not aware he owed?
Giuliani said the money was reimbursed over several months. He added that the payment was not an illegal campaign contribution, as critics have claimed. They money did not come out of campaign funds.
The morning after the interview, Trump tweeted that Cohen was paid a monthly retainer:
not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA.” He added that these types of agreements are “common among celebrities and people of wealth.”
The agreement was designed to stop false allegations designed to extort the president, even though Daniels had signed a letter stating there was no affair between her and Trump.
Prior to its violation by Ms. Clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no role in the transaction.
The White House declined to comment. Cohen and aides in the White House have denied the affair between Daniels and Trump. Daniels claims she had a one-night sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
In a separate interview, on MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” Daniel’s attorney Michael Avenatti said the revelation left him speechless.
The American people have been lied to about this agreement, about the $130,000. There are going to be serious charges that may result from that. Make no mistake about it: justice is going to be served.
Giuliani told The New York Times that Cohen was reimbursed $460,000 or $470,000 in monthly installments of $35,000, through a family account owned by Trump. The money was paid to Cohen for “settling several problems” for the president. However, Giuliani said it was not clear if Trump was aware payments had been made to Daniels, at the time.
“I don’t think he did [know] until now. That removes the campaign finance violation, and we have all the documentary proof for it,” according to Giuliani.
Giuliani claims that he spoke with Trump before his interview on “Hannity” and the president was pleased that the information about the payments was made public. Giuliani said the president was aware he was going to make this information public to “get this over with.”
Chairman of Citizen for Responsibility and Ethics Norm Eisen has filed a complaint with the Justice Department. The $130,000 loan from Cohen was not disclosed on the federal presidential financial disclosures.
As recently as April, Trump has denied that he was aware that Cohen paid Daniels at the time. The president told reporters on Air Force One that not only was he unaware of the payment he said he did not know where the money came from.
Some may argue that Trump always knows where his money is coming from and where it is going. He did not make his millions allowing other people to watch his money for him. It would be doubtful the campaign would be any different.
Reporters asked the president why Cohen paid Daniels. He responded that they would have to ask his attorney.
Daniels sued Trump to void the nondisclosure agreement that was arranged by Cohen. She says the agreement is not valid because the agreement was not signed by Trump. Daniels described the $130,000 as “hush” money to buy her silence before Election Day in 2016.
In May 2017, Trump asserted that the FBI investigation and the Trump campaign had nothing to do with the decision to fire then-FBI Director James Comey. Trump has stated that “when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”
However, according to Giuliani, Comey was fired because he would not say that Trump was not a target of the investigation, among other things.
By Jeanette Smith
NBC News: Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, Giuliani says
Image Courtesy of PBS Newshour’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License