President Donald Trump broke his silence Thursday on his alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels, denying any knowledge of the $130,000 hush money payment made by his personal lawyer just days before the 2016 presidential election.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, the president said he did not know about the money transferred from Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels, and told reporters that if they wanted to know why the payment was made, they’d have to ask Cohen.
Trump has repeatedly denied having the affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, despite mounting evidence that Trump Organization lawyers were involved in the transaction and a follow-up attempt to silence Clifford.
On the flight to Washington from West Virginia, a reporter asked Trump, “Then why did Michael Cohen make it, if there was no truth to her allegations?” To which Trump responded, “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.”
“Michael’s my attorney, and you’ll have to ask Michael,”Trump added.
The president was then asked whether he knew how Michael Cohen got the money to make such an enormous payment. He responded, “No, I don’t know,” according to the Washington Post.
Cohen previously admitted to the New York Times in February that he made the payment using his own money, and was never paid back by the Trump Organization or anyone else. Cohen disclosed the details in an apparent attempt to silence campaign watchdogs who analyzed the transaction as a possible breach of campaign finance laws.
“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 in a statement to Times. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”
Clifford filed a lawsuit in March to get out of the “hush” agreement signed in October 2016, just a few weeks before the election, arguing it was void because Trump never signed it.
The lawsuit alleges that Cohen “aggressively sought to silence Ms. Clifford [Daniels] as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to ensure he won the presidential election.”