The new guy on President Donald Trump’s team, Rudolph W. Giuliani, has revealed that Trump made a series of payments reimbursing his attorney Michael Cohen for a $130,000 settlement with an adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
Trump had denied that he was unaware of the payment prior to this revelation.
“The president repaid it,’’ Giuliani told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity.
Trump “didn’t know about the specifics of it, as far as I know. But he did know the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this, like I take care of things like this with my clients,” Giuliani said. “I don’t burden them with every single thing that comes along. These are busy people.’’
[Read the transcript of Giuliani’s interview]
Giuliani said it was his understanding that repayment from Trump came in a series of transactions after the election that he believes were completed in 2017 but could have included a reimbursement in 2018.
“The president was always going to make sure he got it back, and enough money to pay the taxes,” Giuliani said. “There probably were other things of a personal nature that Michael took care of for which the president would have always trusted him as his lawyer . . . and that was paid back out of the rest of the money, and Michael earned a fee out of it.”
Giuliani said that even though Trump reimbursed Cohen, he does not know when the president learned of the nature of the payment Cohen had made to Daniels. Giuliani said the president didn’t learn many of the details about the settlement until the past two weeks, in the wake of an FBI raid on Cohen’s office and residence.
“I don’t know if he distinguished it from other things Cohen might have done for him during the campaign,” Giuliani said, adding, “He trusted Michael, and Michael trusted him.”
Last month, a reporter on Air Force One pressed Trump about the payment, asking him, “Did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?”
Trump responded, “No.”
The reporter then asked, “Then why did Michael Cohen make [the payment], if there was no truth to her allegations?”
“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen,” Trump said. “Michael’s my attorney, and you’ll have to ask Michael.”
Another reporter asked the president, “Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?”
“No,” Trump said. “I don’t know.”