A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.
Michael Cohen, who spent nearly a decade as a top attorney at the Trump Organization, arranged payment to the woman, Stephanie Clifford, in October 2016 after her lawyer negotiated the nondisclosure agreement with Mr. Cohen, these people said.
Ms. Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, has privately alleged the encounter with Mr. Trump took place after they met at a July 2006 celebrity golf tournament on the shore of Lake Tahoe, these people said. Mr. Trump married Melania Trump in 2005.
Mr. Trump faced other allegations during his campaign of inappropriate behavior with women, and vehemently denied them. In this matter, there is no allegation of a nonconsensual interaction. “These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election,” a White House official said, responding to the allegation of a sexual encounter involving Mr. Trump and Ms. Clifford. The official declined to respond to questions about an agreement with Ms. Clifford. It isn’t known whether Mr. Trump was aware of any agreement or payment involving her. In a statement, Mr. Cohen didn’t address the $130,000 payment but said of the alleged sexual encounter that “President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.” Mr. Cohen added in the statement, addressed to The Wall Street Journal: “This is now the second time that you are raising outlandish allegations against my client. You have attempted to perpetuate this false narrative for over a year; a narrative that has been consistently denied by all parties since at least 2011.” The Journal previously reported
that Ms. Clifford, 38 years old, had been in talks with ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the fall of 2016 about an appearance to discuss Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. In that article, the Journal reported the company that owns the National Enquirer agreed to pay $150,000 to a former Playboy centerfold model three months before the election for her story of an affair a decade earlier with the Republican presidential nominee, which the tabloid newspaper didn’t publish. The company said she was paid to write fitness columns and appear on magazine covers. Mr. Cohen also sent a two-paragraph statement by email addressed “TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN” and signed by “Stormy Daniels” denying that she had a “sexual and/or romantic affair” with Mr. Trump.
“Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false,” the statement said. Source