Rudy Giuliani admitted that President Donald Trump repaid Michael Cohen the $130,000 in hush money that was used to pay off pornstar Stormy Daniels, claiming that the payment was “for personal reasons.”
The former mayor of New York City, who recently joined Trump’s legal team, spoke to Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday, contradicting the president’s denial that he knew anything about the payment.
Cohen, once Trump’s personal lawyer, has admitted that he paid Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket weeks before the 2016 election. The payment was made in order to keep the former pornstar silent about her 2006 affair with the president. Trump, however, did not sign his end of the non-disclosure agreement, a misstep that is the basis of Daniels’ lawsuit that the agreement is now void.
Cohen also claimed that Trump, the Trump Organization, and Trump’s campaign knew nothing about the transaction. Trump also denied any knowledge of the payment, only telling reporters to “ask Michael Cohen” when directly questioned.
The payoff could constitute an illegal campaign donation to the Trump campaign, which could put the President in further legal problems. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal after the Fox News interview, Giuliani argued that the payment was not a campaign finance violation or a crime of any kind.
Giuliani later confirmed to The Washington Post that his statements to Hannity were not made in error, confirming that the president has been lying to the nation about the payments.
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to give his own thoughts:
Giuliani has confirmed that he had spoken to the President about publicly discussing the reimbursement and that his admission on Hannity’s show was approved by Trump. He recently became Trump’s lawyer in an effort to fight back against special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s 2016 election interference and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign.