Trump admits Cohen represented him in efforts to buy silence of Daniels
Trump had never addressed the pornstar Stormy Daniels issue before, and the White House had directed to his lawyer Michael Cohen all questions about the affair and the hush payment.Updated: Apr 26, 2018 23:39 IST
United States President Donald Trump has for the first time admitted that his embattled personal lawyer Michael Cohen represented him in the efforts to buy the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels, who has said she had an affair with Trump years ago.
“Michael represents me, like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me,” Trump told Fox News in a phone interview on Thursday. “And from what I’ve seen, he did absolutely nothing wrong. There were no campaign funds going into this.”
He also sought to distance himself from Cohen: “Michael is a businessman. He’s got a business. He also practices law. I would say, probably, the big thing is his business. I have nothing to do with his business.”
Trump had never addressed the Daniels issue before, and the White House had directed to Cohen all questions about the affair and the hush payment.
The admission came the day after Cohen declared he would be invoking the Fifth Amendment, which gives Americans the right to remain silent in order to not incriminate themselves.
Cohen is facing possible criminal charges of bank fraud and campaign funding law violation, stemming from a payment of $1,30,000 he made to Daniels in the final stages of the 2016 presidential elections. In a raid on his office, home and hotel suite, FBI investigators are reported to have looked for material related to the payment and on Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who has claimed to have had an affair with Trump around the same time as Daniels.
Immediately after Trump’s remarks, Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted: “Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen previously represented to the American people that Mr. Cohen acted on his own and Mr. Trump knew nothing about the agreement with my client, the $130k payment, etc. As I predicted, that has now been shown to be completely false.”
First Published: Apr 26, 2018 23:39 IST