Trump's lawyer says he paid adult film star out of his own pocket

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE’s personal lawyer told The New York Times on Tuesday he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. 

Michael Cohen, who previously served as an attorney for the Trump Organization and is now Trump’s personal lawyer, defended the payment to the newspaper.

“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen told the Times in a statement, referring to Daniels by her given name, Stephanie Clifford.

“The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”

He declined to discuss the payment further, including whether Trump knew of it or the motivation behind it.

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The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Cohen arranged for Daniels to receive $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement one month before the 2016 presidential election.

In the wake of the reported payment, Common Cause, a nonprofit watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) claiming Cohen's payment to Daniels violated campaign finance law because it was an unreported in-kind contribution to the president’s 2016 campaign.

Cohen said Tuesday that his counsel has responded to the FEC regarding the complaint.

Daniels has said she and Trump had a consensual sexual encounter in 2006. Last month, In Touch magazine published an interview with the adult film star from 2011 in which she details her affair with Trump, which she claims happened shortly after his youngest son, Barron, was born.

Daniels later caused confusion when a statement surfaced in which she appeared to deny having the affair with Trump. 

Afterward, during an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," Daniels said of the statement: "I do not know where it came from."

Cohen has denied that Trump had a sexual encounter with Daniels.