Stormy Daniels (Getty/Ethan Miller)

Trump's personal lawyer admits he paid porn star Stormy Daniels

The White House says President Trump didn't have an affair with the porn star. This is not a good defense


Jeremy Binckes
February 14, 2018 12:57PM (UTC)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, says that he paid $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election — fueling speculation that the president, in 2006, cheated on his wife with the adult film actress and paid her to keep quiet a decade later.

It's a startling admission for the president's longtime personal attorney, considering the White House has long denied the allegations as fiction. But why else would Cohen be paying $130,000 to someone who had already alleged an affair with the man who was running for president? The New York Times first reported the story, but later, Cohen came out with his own statement.

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I am Mr. Trump's longtime special counsel and I have proudly served in that role for more than a decade. In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford [Daniels' legal name]. 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.

I do not plan to provide any further comment on the FEC matter or regarding Ms Clifford.

Just because something isn't true doesn't mean it can't cause you harm or damage. I will always protect Mr. Trump.

Cohen just breathed new life into a story that has been out of the news cycle for a long time. It was just a month ago that The Wall Street Journal first reported that Daniels was paid the six-figure sum to stay quiet over the alleged affair, details about which Daniels has been mum. Though a statement written in her name denied the affair, the actress hasn't denied the allegation directly.

Last month, In Touch ran a piece — an interview with Daniels — in which she said that she had sex with Trump. In Touch said that the interview took place in 2011, before Trump declared his intention of running for office.

In another world, an admission that the president's attorney paid $130,000 to a woman who claimed that she slept with the man who, a decade later, would be elected president, would cause days of headlines. But in Trumpworld, it's only Wednesday.


Jeremy Binckes

Jeremy Binckes is the senior news editor at Salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Michael Cohen Stormy Daniels

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