Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Despite claiming otherwise, US President Donald Trump has been well-aware of a hush money that his lawyer paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 in order to bury the then-Republican presidential nominee’s extra marital affair with her, says a report.
Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and a close ally of the president, made the shocking revelation during an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, noting Trump knew of the $130,000 payment by his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and had even reimbursed him.
The payment was made during Trump’s presidential campaign, raising speculation that Cohen used campaign funds to silence Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
Cohen, however, insists that he paid her out of his own pocket and neither Trump nor his campaign reimbursed him afterwards.
However, Giuliani, who is also part of Trump’s legal team fighting a high-profile investigation into his alleged ties to Russia, said the payment was legal even though Trump might have forgotten about it.
“That money was not campaign money, sorry,” Giuliani told Fox host, Sean Hannity. “I’m giving you a fact now that you don’t know. It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation.”
Hannity asked, “Because they funneled it through the law firm?”
“Funneled it through the law firm, and the president repaid him,” Giuliani replied.
Giuliani told The Washington Post later on that he had spoken to Trump about publicly discussing the reimbursement and his remarks were approved by the president.
Daniels has sued both Trump and Cohen, accusing them of defamation. She also argues that the nondisclosure agreement between Cohen and her is invalid because Trump never signed it.
Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ lawyer, said he was “stunned” by Giuliani’s claim.
“I am stunned and speechless. If this is accurate, the American people have been lied to and deceived for months. And justice must be served,” Avenatti said.
Experts say Giuliani’s statement might expose both Trump and Cohen to criminal prosecution.