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Stormy Daniels’s lawyer: ‘Absolutely laughable’ Trump was unaware of payout

An attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels on Friday said it was "laughable" to suggest President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE did not know about his lawyer Michael Cohen's $130,000 payout to his client for her silence on an alleged affair.

In an interview with CNN's "New Day," attorney Michael Avenatti said that Trump himself "attempted to silence" Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, through the use of Cohen's payout about an alleged 2006 affair between Trump and Clifford.

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"In the waning days of the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Trump, through the use of Mr. Cohen, his personal attorney, attempted to silence Ms. Daniels by having her enter into a nondisclosure agreement," Avenatti said.

"Whereby, Trump would pay Ms. Daniels through Mr. Cohen, $130,000 to buy her silence to prevent her from coming forward and talking about the relationship that she had with Mr. Trump," he continued.

Avenatti went on to accuse Cohen of lying about the nature of the payment, which Cohen has characterized as an attempt to get rid of false accusations without his boss's knowledge.

"It's absolutely laughable, and we're going to prove that Mr. Cohen is not telling the truth about this," Avenatti said.

"Because we're going to be able to obtain discovery and documents and testimony that's going to show, I'm highly confident, that at all times Mr. Trump knew exactly what was going on," he added.

Cohen has admitted to making the payment but has insisted that Trump knew nothing about it.

“In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford,” Cohen said in a statement.

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

The White House denies that Trump had a relationship with Daniels. 

But press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday also said the president recently won an arbitration ruling against Daniels — a statement that effectively tied Trump to the $130,000 payment to keep Daniels quiet.