Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency
Giuliani: Trump knew I was going to get Stormy Daniels revelation 'over with'
Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that President Trump knew that he was going to reveal that the president had reimbursed his personal attorney Michael Cohen for a payment made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels, contradicting Trump's past statements.
The former New York City mayor and recent addition to Trump's legal team told The Washington Post that Trump "was well aware that at some point when I saw the opportunity, I was going to get this over with."
Giuliani told the newspaper that he didn't believe he would be fired for making the revelation, but added, "If I do, I do. It wouldn't be the first time it ever happened. But I don't think so, no."
Giuliani dropped a bombshell Wednesday night when he told Fox News's Sean Hannity that Trump had reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 paid to Daniels to stay quiet about an alleged affair.
"It's not campaign money. No campaign finance violation. They funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it," Giuliani said during the interview.
He added that Trump "didn't know about the specifics" of the payment but that "he did know about the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this."
The statement was a direct contradiction from Trump's past comments. The president told reporters last month that he didn't know about the payment.
Trump addressed the payment to Daniels in a series of tweets early Thursday, saying that Cohen received a monthly retainer "from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA."
He added that the agreement with Daniels was made "to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair."
The Post also reported that White House staffers were shocked by Giuliani's statement and that they had no idea that the revelation was coming.
The paper reported that White House chief of staff John Kelly, counsel Don McGahn and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders were all blindsided by his comments. Emmet Flood, the latest addition to Trump's legal team, was also not aware of Giuliani's plan to reveal the reimbursement.
Cohen had also previously stated that the payment to Daniels was made with his own money. FBI agents raided his office last month and reportedly sought records related to the payment, and Cohen is under criminal investigation.
Daniels is currently suing Trump, claiming that the nondisclosure agreement she signed about her alleged affair with the president is void because Trump didn't sign the document.
She is also suing both Trump and Cohen for defamation. Cohen is asserting his Fifth Amendment rights in the case.