Trump Confirms His Money Paid for Stormy Daniels’ Hush Agreement

He denied the payment was in violation of campaign finance laws.

According to Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump repaid his personal lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment to keep Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who alleges she had an affair with Trump, from publicly discussing the relationship. The startling admission, made during an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News Wednesday evening, directly contradicts the president’s repeated denials he had any knowledge of an agreement to keep Daniels silent.

On Thursday morning, Trump confirmed the latest evolution of his Daniels account. In a series of tweets, the president acknowledged reimbursing his lawyer while maintaining that the $130,000 hush agreement did not involve any campaign money. He also continued to deny ever having had an affair with Daniels, calling the porn actress’s claims “false and extortionist.” 

Just last month, Trump told a group of reporters aboard Air Force One that he did not know about the $130,000 payment, which has since become the subject of a federal investigation. Shortly after that comment, federal agents raided Cohen’s offices to seize documents related to multiple topics, including details of the payment to Daniels.

After his appearance on Hannity’s show, Giuliani, who is a member of Trump’s legal team, told multiple news outlets that the president knew what he was planning to reveal on national television. He told the New York Times that he had spoken to Trump before and after the interview, and explained that his statements emphasizing the money didn’t come from campaign funds were intended to clear suspicions that the payment violated campaign finance laws. 

If investigators determine the payment was made to benefit Trump’s presidential bid, campaign finance experts say prosecutors or regulators could argue that the expenditure is in fact an illegal contribution—no matter where the money came from.