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Lawyer paid $130k to silence adult-film star over sexual encounter with Trump: report
A lawyer for President Trump reportedly arranged a six-figure payment to a former adult-film star to keep her from discussing a sexual encounter with Trump, according to a new report Friday.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Michael Cohen, an attorney for the Trump Organization at the time and now Trump's personal lawyer, arranged for Stephanie Clifford, known in the industry as Stormy Daniels, to receive $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement one month before the 2016 presidential election.
Clifford has privately told sources interviewed by the Journal that she and Trump had a consensual sexual encounter in 2006, the year after he and Melania Trump were married. Clifford was 27 years old at the time of the alleged encounter in Lake Tahoe.
A White House official declined to comment to the Journal about the payment, but said that the allegations of the interaction between Trump and Clifford were "old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election."
Cohen told the Journal in a statement that Trump "once again vehemently denies" the encounter, but did not comment on the alleged $130,00 payment.
"This is now the second time that you are raising outlandish allegations against my client," Cohen said in the statement. "You have attempted to perpetuate this false narrative for over a year; a narrative that has been consistently denied by all parties since at least 2011."
Cohen's reference to previous allegations may include the Journal's report in the days before the election that Clifford intended to appear on "Good Morning America" to discuss the alleged affair. She reportedly chose not to appear on the show at that time without explanation.
Cohen sent the paper a statement signed by "Stormy Daniels" denying the sexual encounter with Trump and saying that hush money rumors are "completely false."
Clifford did not comment directly to the Journal, and Clifford's lawyer declined to comment on the matter.
Clifford reportedly received the payment through her lawyer's client-trust account. A spokeswoman for the bank where the account is held declined to comment.
The payment was allegedly made around the time that the "Access Hollywood" tape surfaced, in which Trump made a comment about grabbing women "by the p----."
Sexual harassment and assault allegations against Trump from more than a dozen women surfaced during the campaign, and again during the rise of the "Me Too" movement. Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations, and the official White House position is that the women are lying.
Updated 3:55 p.m.