A lawyer for adult-film star Stormy Daniels ripped Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Saturday over his claim that a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels was made to protect President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE’s family, rather than his campaign for president.
Michael Avenatti suggested in a tweet that if Giuliani’s claim were true, the payment would have been made sometime during the nine years after Daniels’s alleged affair with Trump, rather than days before the 2016 election.
“Let's test this most recent claim,” Avenatti tweeted. “For over 9 yrs after the end of the affair - 2007, 08, 09, 10, 11 (In Touch), 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 (Jan-Sept) - Mr. Trump had a family. And yet no payment was ever made to 'protect them.' Then, two weeks before the election, the payment was suddenly made.”
For over 9 yrs after the end of the affair - 2007, 08, 09, 10, 11 (In Touch), 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 (Jan-Sept) - Mr. Trump had a family. And yet no payment was ever made to "protect them." Then, two weeks before the election, the payment was suddenly made. #WeAreNotStupid #basta— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 5, 2018
Giuliani, the newest member of Trump’s legal team, muddied the narrative around the Daniels payment on Wednesday when he said that Trump had reimbursed his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. Trump claimed last month that he was not aware of the payment and did not know where Cohen got the money to pay Daniels.
Cohen has said that the payment was made to silence false claims about Trump.
In a statement Giuliani issued Friday to clarify his remarks, he said that the payment was made to protect Trump’s family.
“The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the president's family. It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not,” he said in the statement.
The payment is under scrutiny by watchdog groups that want to know whether it qualified as a campaign contribution.
Giuliani’s statement and subsequent clarification are the latest turn in a story that has changed continuously over the past few months.