Donald Trump’s personal lawyer admitted Wednesday he did pay porn actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 in the weeks preceding the 2016 election, the New York Times reported.
Trump has denied reports that his campaign paid “hush money” to the adult film star, with whom he reportedly had an affair in 2006.
But Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime personal attorney, conceded Daniels did receive the cash, but said the money came out of his own pocket.
Cohen refused to explain exactly why he would hand over a large bundle of money to an adult film star with whom his boss, then running for office, had allegedly had an affair.
“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford [Daniels], and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen told the newspaper.
Cohen would not say whether Trump knew about the payment or whether Trump reimbursed him personally.
Cohen is currently facing a probe by the Federal Elections Commission for violating election law by making an illegal campaign contribution.
The lawyer is also reportedly seeking a book deal for a tome titled “Trump Revolution: From The Tower to The White House, Understanding Donald J. Trump.”
According to the pitch which has been sent to numerous publishers and obtained by the Daily Beast, Cohen says: “No issue was too big, too sticky or too oddball for me to tackle. I saw it all, handled it all. And still do.”
The investigation was launched after a lawsuit was filed by grassroots organization Common Cause, claiming the Trump campaign paid Daniels via a shell company set up by Cohen.
That allegation first appeared in a January Wall Street Journal report that claimed the payment was “hush money” to cover up the affair.
In a 2011 interview with Intouch magazine, Daniels gave details about her encounters with Trump, whom she first met at a golf tournament.
Cohen subsequently released two statements on behalf of Daniels, both of which denied the affair ever happened.
“I am not denying this affair because I was paid ‘hush money,’ as has been reported in overseas owned tabloids. I am denying this affair because it never happened,” said the second statement, released January.
However, discrepancies between the signatures on the two statements suggested Daniels was not the signatory on both.
Asked if she had signed the second statement on Jimmy Kimmel Live! the actress said. “I don’t know, did I? That doesn’t look like my signature, does it?” adding “I do not know where [the statement] came from.”
Following the WSJ report last month, Cohen reportedly emailed the two journalists who broke the story saying: “You’re [sic] obsessive drive to prove a false narrative, one that has been rebuked by all parties, must come to an end.”