Trump claims no knowledge of payment to porn star Stormy Daniels | News | DW | 06.04.2018
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Trump claims no knowledge of payment to porn star Stormy Daniels

Breaking a two month silence, US President Donald Trump has denied he knew about a $130,000 payment to the ex-model. Stormy Daniels claims the pair had a tryst 10 years before he ran for the White House.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday made his first public comments about an alleged affair with actress Stormy Daniels, saying he did not know that his lawyer made a $130,000 (€106,000) payment to the adult star to keep her quiet.

Asked why his legal representative paid the money if the allegations were untrue, Trump told reporters on Air Force One: "You'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael's my attorney."

When he was then asked if he knew about the payments made to Daniels shortly before the 2016 US presidential election, Trump said: "No."

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Did Trump pay?

The president was also asked where the money came from to pay the former Playboy model, to which he answered: "I don't know."

Trump has until now avoided questions about Daniels, who claims she and Trump had sex once in 2006, as part of a 10-month affair when she was 26.

The tryst happened a year after Trump married his current wife Melania. Their son Barron was born in the same year as the alleged affair.

The White House has denied the accusations, which the actress says led to her being paid alongside the signing of a non-disclosure agreement, days before Trump was elected to the White House.

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Daniels is suing Cohen to be released from the agreement, which she says Trump didn't sign.

Cohen has said he paid the actress out of his own pocket, but won't say why the payment was made. He wants to force Daniels to use arbitration, as opposed to open court, to settle the dispute.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, told CBS television's 60 Minutes program that she was not attracted to Trump, who was 60 at the time of their affair.

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Lawyer ready to challenge Trump

In response to Trump's first remarks, her attorney Michael Avenatti, tweeted that: "we very much look forward to testing the truthfulness of Mr. Trump's feigned lack of knowledge concerning the $130k payment as stated on Air Force One."

"As history teaches us," he added, "it is one thing to deceive the press and quite another to do so under oath."

Daniels is one of several women pursuing potentially damaging legal actions against Trump, who has also been castigated after making lewd comments about women in a video uncovered by the Washington Post.

mm/bw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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