Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTop Trump trade official: ‘Any country or entity’ exempt from tariffs will face quotas Pence in Arizona hails Arpaio as ‘champion’ of ‘rule of law’ Ex-Trump aide decries Senate Russia probe over high legal bills: report MORE reimbursed his personal attorney Michael Cohen the $130,000 paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels to stay quiet about their alleged affair.
Giuliani, who recently joined Trump’s legal team, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the payment was “perfectly legal” and was “not campaign money,” meaning the arrangement didn’t violate campaign finance law.
“Funneled through a law firm, and the president repaid it,” Giuliani said.
“He didn’t know about the specifics of it as far as I know, but he did know about the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this,” he said.
Hannity returned to the payment later in the interview, giving Giuliani an opportunity to clarify.
“That was money that was paid by his lawyer, the way I would do, out of his law firm funds or whatever funds, it doesn’t matter. The president reimbursed that over a period of several months,” Giuliani said.
Hannity then pressed Giuliani, saying he “distinctly” remembered that Cohen had made the payment on his own without discussing it with Trump.
“I don’t know, I haven’t investigated that. No reason to dispute that, no reason to dispute his recollection,” Giuliani replied.
“The fact is, just trust me, they’re going to come up with no violation there,” he said. “The payment was perfectly legal, all documented.
Cohen has said that he made the payment, but that it was made with money out of his own pocket.
Trump admitted that Cohen had represented him in the arrangement with Daniels during an interview with Fox & Friends, but that he didn’t know about the payment.
Trump told reporters earlier this year that he didn’t know about the payment made to Daniels.
Daniels is suing Trump over the nondisclosure agreement she signed in exchange for the $130,000 payment, claiming that the deal is void because Trump never signed the document.
She is also suing Cohen for defamation for suggesting that she lied about her alleged affair with Trump. Cohen is asserting his Fifth Amendment rights in the case.
FBI agents raided Cohen’s office last month, reportedly searching for records related to the payment to Daniels.
– This post was updated at 10:24 p.m.