Donald Trump admits to reimbursing lawyer for hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels | News | DW | 03.05.2018
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Donald Trump admits to reimbursing lawyer for hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels

The US president has admitted in a series of tweets that his lawyer Michael Cohen had paid a porn actress to keep quiet. But President Donald Trump has denied that campaign funds were used to buy Stormy Daniels' silence.

US President Donald Trump reversed his position on hush money paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels, admitting in a series of tweets Thursday that he reimbursed his personal lawyer for the payment.

But Trump said money from his presidential campaign was not used to pay off the adult-film star — which could have been a violation of federal law.

Trump said he had reimbursed lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 paid to Daniels days before the 2016 presidential election to buy her silence over an alleged one-night stand with Trump in 2006. He said nondisclosure agreements were "very common among celebrities and people of wealth."

Trump added that the agreement "was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations" made regarding an affair.

Adult-film star Stormy Daniels exits with security guards after a hearing in New York City

Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has filed two lawsuits against the US president

'This is not about sex'

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later said Trump did not initially know about the hush money payment, but learned about it later.

Trump's new legal aide, Rudy Guiliani, said on Wednesday that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the non-disclosure agreement settled with the porn star and first learned about the arrangement around 10 days ago. He added that the agreement with Daniels was made for personal reasons in an effort to protect Trump's family.

Trump had told reporters last month that he did not know about the payment to Daniels or the source of the money.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has filed two lawsuits against the US president: one to get out of a non-disclosure agreement and another for defamation.

Responding to Trump's tweets, Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti told US broadcaster MSNBC that Trump had opened himself up to another possible lawsuit for defamation.

"Our case just got exponentially better," Avenatti said. "This is not about sex ... this is about a cover-up."

ap/sms (Reuters, AP)

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