WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump acknowledged on Thursday having reimbursed his lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment he made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to stop “extortionist accusations” made by her about an affair with the real estate mogul.
“Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer ... from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA,” Trump said on Twitter.
“These agreements are very common among celebrities and people of wealth,” Trump added.
The president, who used three consecutive Tweets to explain the matter, said that the money was used to “stop the false and extortionist accusations” made by Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, about an alleged affair between the two.
This represents a complete reversal of Trump’s position, having previously denied knowledge of the payment and the source of the money.
This payment has raised questions regarding the possible violation of campaign finance laws, as it is reported to have taken place a month before the 2016 presidential election and could be considered an illegal campaign contribution to protect Trump’s image as a candidate.
The president denied that any money from the campaign had been used for the payment to Daniels.
“Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction,” Trump wrote, misspelling “role.”
Despite the non-disclosure agreement, Daniels has spoken openly about her alleged affair with Trump, which purportedly began in the summer of 2006, when the real estate mogul was already married to his current wife Melania and had just had a child with her.