President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE's personal attorney Michael Cohen said in an interview published on Monday that the $130,000 nondisclosure payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in October of 2016 had nothing to do with the next month's election.
“People are mistaking this for a thing about the campaign,” Cohen told Vanity Fair.
“What I did defensively for my personal client, and my friend, is what attorneys do for their high-profile clients. I would have done it in 2006. I would have done it in 2011. I truly care about him and the family — more than just as an employee and an attorney," he said.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a lawsuit earlier this month to void a nondisclosure agreement that she says prevents her from speaking publicly about an affair with Trump, which she says took place more than 10 years ago.
Cohen has repeatedly said that he paid Daniels the $130,000 out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed.
Democrats and election watchdog groups say the payment, which came shortly after the release of Trump's infamous "Access Hollywood" tape, could violate campaign finance laws if it was intended to have an impact on the vote.
Daniels has offered to return the payment in order to speak publicly about the relationship she says she had with Trump, but her lawyer said that Trump and Cohen did not meet a deadline to have the money returned.
The White House has denied the affair.
The president accused the adult film star in court papers filed last week of repeatedly violating the nondisclosure agreement. He is seeking up to $20 million in damages.
Cohen told Vanity Fair any money won from Daniels will be used to pay lawyers first, then donated to various charities.
"You know what?” Cohen said. “The more I’m thinking about it, I might even take an extended vacation on her dime.”
Daniels, who has said through an attorney that she's been physically threatened over the allegations, has set up a legal defense for her expenses.
Cohen emphasized Monday that he's never threatened Daniels.
“In fact, I have never spoken to her. I have never e-mailed her. I have never met her. I have never texted her,” he said. “Every interaction with Ms. Clifford was always through her previous attorney.”
He added he “can only speak for myself” when pressed on if he knew of anyone connected with Trump who might have issued such threats.
“I reiterate: I have never threatened her in any way and I am unaware of anyone else doing so.”
Daniels has given an interview to "60 Minutes" set to air Sunday evening.