Trump says payment to Michael Cohen in Stormy Daniels scandal was 'not from the campaign'


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said his lawyer Michael Cohen did not use presidential campaign funds to pay Stormy Daniels as part of a contract that he said was aimed at stopping the adult-film star from making “false and extortionist accusations” about an affair.

“Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction,” Trump wrote in one of a series of early morning tweets.

His comments come after former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who joined Trump’s legal team last month, said on Wednesday Trump had reimbursed Cohen the $130,000 that was given to Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged affair with the president.

Trump had told reporters on Air Force One last month that he did not know about the payment or the source of the money.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has filed two lawsuits against Trump, one to get out of the non-disclosure agreement she signed in October 2016 in exchange for the $130,000, and another for defamation.

Asked about the president’s Thursday morning tweets, her lawyer Michael Avenatti told MSNBC the president had opened himself up to another possible lawsuit for defamation.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Makini Brice; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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