The latest twist in the tangled tale of what happened between President Trump and an adult film star more than a decade ago has taken a new turn Tuesday, with Trump’s longtime personal lawyer claiming that he paid the porn star $130,000 out of his own pocket.
Michael Cohen, the lawyer who worked for Trump for more than a decade, said in a statement obtained by Fox News that the 2016 transaction with Stormy Daniels was lawful and not a campaign contribution or campaign expenditure “by anyone.”
“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,” the statement read.
Trump met Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the name Stormy Daniels in films, at a golf event in 2006 — a year after Trump’s marriage to his wife, Melania. According to The Wall Street Journal’s report, Clifford began talking with ABC News in the fall of 2016 for a story involving an alleged relationship with Trump, but reached a $130,000 deal a month before the election, which prevented her from going public.
The New York Times first reported on Cohen’s payment. The paper said Cohen refused to answer follow-up questions like whether or not Trump knew about the payment.
Cohen told the paper that he had delivered a similar statement to the Federal Election Commission in response to a complaint filed by Common Cause, a government watchdog. The watchdog asked the FEC to investigate the source of the payment and determine whether it represented an excessive campaign contribution.
He called the allegations “without merit” and said he does not plan “to provide any further comment on the FEC matter.”
Fox News’ Ed Henry, Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report.