Giuliani: Trump 'did not originally know' about Stormy Daniels payment

Giuliani: Trump 'did not originally know' about Stormy Daniels payment
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Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that, to his knowledge, President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE did not “originally know” about Michael Cohen’s payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels as part of a nondisclosure agreement over an alleged affair with the president.

“As far as I know … the president did not originally know. At some point, probably a little foggy as to exactly when, the president found out and reimbursed him,” Giuliani said on ABC’s “This Week.” 

He argued that regardless, it wasn’t a campaign contribution and thus did not violate campaign finance laws.

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“This is something he would have paid for no matter what,” Giuliani said.

“That’s something you settle because you don’t want your family to be embarrassed,” he added, calling the $130,000 transaction a “nuisance payment.”

Giuliani said he does not know if Trump promised in advance to reimburse Cohen for the $130,000, but said he believes Cohen “knew he’d be reimbursed.” 

Cohen’s payment to Daniels has generated controversy since it was first reported in January. Cohen, who served as Trump’s longtime fixer, is reportedly under investigation for alleged bank fraud and campaign finance violations. 

While Trump initially denied knowing of the payment, Giuliani later acknowledged that the president reimbursed him. 

The president defended the payment, saying it was made through a monthly retainer he had with Cohen.

FBI agents raided Cohen’s office and home in April and reportedly seized materials related to the payment to Daniels.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has caused legal headaches for Trump and Cohen in recent months, as she has filed lawsuits against both men for defamation and seeking for the nondisclosure agreement to be voided.

Cohen has raised speculation that he might cooperate with federal investigators and "flip" on the president. He has changed his legal team, and recently told ABC that his "first loyalty" is to his family and country, not Trump.

In the same interview, Cohen declined to answer whether Trump directed him to make the payment to Daniels, citing the advice of his lawyers.