Trump confirms ‘reimbursement’ under porn star deal

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International desk: US President Donald Trump on Thursday confirmed a “reimbursement” as part of a hush agreement with porn star Stormy Daniels over allegations of a decade-old affair, but he said campaign money wasn’t involved.

Trump’s comments in a series of tweets, which contradicted his earlier denials of knowledge of a payment to Daniels, came after former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a member of the president’s legal team, said Trump reimbursed his long-time lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels.

Cohen “received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement,” the non-disclosure agreement involving Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Clifford, who alleges an intimate relationship with Trump from 2006 to 2007, has filed suit in Los Angeles to declare that agreement invalid.

“The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair, despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair,” Trump said.

“Prior to its violation by Ms Clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction,” he wrote, misspelling “role.”

Clifford signed the hush agreement days before the November 2016 presidential election, which Trump won.

Such contracts, while legal, have frequently been used by powerful men to hush up affairs, workplace harassment or even alleged sexual abuse.

“These agreements are very common among celebrities and people of wealth. In this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in Arbitration for damages against Ms Clifford (Daniels),” Trump said in his Thursday tweets.

On April 5, Trump offered a flat “no” when asked if he knew about the payment that was made by his lawyer.

Trump said he did not know why Cohen made the payment. “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”

Asked if he knew where the money came from, Trump told reporters on Air Force One, “No, I don’t know.”

The watchdog group Common Cause filed a federal complaint in January arguing that the payout may have violated campaign finance rules.

On Wednesday, Giuliani told Fox News host Sean Hannity the money “was paid by his lawyer, the way I would do, out of his law firm funds or whatever funds, it doesn’t matter. The president reimbursed that over a period of several months.”

Cohen, whose office the FBI raided last month, is under investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, The Washington Post reported last month.

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