Giuliani insists Trump wasn't aware of Stormy Daniels reimbursement until recently

President Donald Trump only recently found out that he reimbursed his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement with adult performer Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 election, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani insisted Thursday.

In a telephone interview with NBC News, Giuliani said he only shared details of the payment with Trump about a week ago.

“I don't think the president realized he paid him (Cohen) back for that specific thing until we (his legal team) made him aware of the paperwork,” he said.

Giuliani said the president responded, "‘Oh my goodness, I guess that's what it was for.’”

Giuliani says the president was subsequently on board with the decision to go public with the reimbursement. "You're not going to see daylight between the president and me," he said. "We're going to work hard to have a consistent strategy."

The former New York mayor and ex-U.S. attorney joined Trump's outside-the-White House legal team last month. He caused a sensation Wednesday night when he said on Fox News' "Hannity" that the president indeed reimbursed Cohen for paying Daniels.

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Rudy Giuliani through the years
Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, smiles while arriving to participate in a discussion during the Values Voter Summit with Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Trump and his running mate said this week that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a stronger leader than U.S. President Barack Obama, provoking Democratic condemnation and prompting some Republicans to distance themselves. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27: Rudolph Giuliani, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is photographed February 27, 1985 announcing the arrests in the 'Commission' case. A Federal racketeering indictment charged nine men with participating in a ''commission'' that governs the five organized-crime ''families'' in New York City. (Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)
D.A. Rudolph Giuliani at Daily News Newsmakers Conference. (Photo By: Anthony Casale/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Koch & Giuliani, join comm. of Doi Kevin Frawley, outline the guilty pleas of six arrested in bribes. 1. Giuliani and Koch await their turn in press con at D.O.I. 80 Maiden Lane. 2. Giuliani and Koch. 3. Head to Head after Giuliani gave Koch an Excellent to a reporter's questionKoch got up to shake his hand when he was through. January 17, 1989. (Photo by Louis Liotta/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Giuliani holds press conference about the NYC homeless. August 01, 1989. (Photo by Dan Brinzac/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Guiliani at Inside Edition -- New TV personality at Inside Edition, Rudy Guiliani. Rudy Guiliani. Rudy honing up before taping of his part of the show. Rudy reviewing tapes in editing room. March 12, 1990. (Photo by Michael Schwartz/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Rudy Giuliani. November 05, 1993. (Photo by David Rentas/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
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Rudy Giuliani. January 12, 1994. (Photo by David Rentas/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Police, criminal justice unions endorse Cuomo for governor on steps of City Hall. Thomas Scotto, Pres. of N.Y.C.P. detectives, endorsement assoc. was between them. October 25, 1994. (Photo by Michael Norcia/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) California governor Pete Wilson meets with New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani at city hall. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images)
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UNITED STATES - MAY 04: Mayor Rudy Giuliani is flanked by CBS President Leslie Moonves (left) and Donald Trump at news conference at the GM Building, where CBS announced that Bryant Gumbel will be the host of its new morning news program, 'This Morning.' Show, to be launched Nov. 1, will broadcast from Trump's International Plaza Building., (Photo by Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
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400517 05: Former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, gives a thumbs up to football fans before Super Bowl XXXVI February 3, 2002 in New Orleans, LA. Super Bowl XXXVI will be played by the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams at the Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 487 -- Pictured: (l-r) Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani during an interview with Jimmy Fallon on August 8, 2011 (Photo by Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 31: Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, speaks in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a Trump campaign rally on August 31, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
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Previously, Trump denied covering the cost of the agreement. Cohen had said he took a home equity credit line to cover the payment to Daniels.

When asked how many payments Trump had made, Giuliani told NBC News the president started paying Cohen back in January 2017 and that altogether there were “about 12 installments of $35,000 each.”

The money, totaling an estimated $420,000, also covered other expenses and fees for Cohen, Giuliani said, but he was unable to provide details.

The payment raised eyebrows because neither Cohen's original outlay to Daniels, who has claimed she had sex with Trump and was paid to be quiet, nor Trump's repayment were reported to the Federal Elections Commission as contributions to a campaign that could have benefited from the performer's silence.

Giuliani told Sean Hannity it would have been politically problematic for news of the deal to break in the month before the election.

On Thursday morning he returned to Fox News and repeated the sentiment that if Daniels hadn't been paid days before the election, a public revelation from her could have turned the presidential race upside down.

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Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels hush payment scandal
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Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels hush payment scandal
Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaks to the media outside US Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Michael Avenatti, lawyer for adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Michael Cohen's attorney Todd Harrison arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen (centre) leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaks to media along with lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) outside federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Michael Cohen's attorney Todd Harrison is pictured outside the Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, New York, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, speaks to media along with lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) outside federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti is pictured though a window as he arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and attorney Michael Avenatti arrive at Federal Court in New York, U.S., on Monday, April 16, 2018. Daniels claims she had sex with Donald Trump in 2006 and took a $130,000 hush payment shortly before the 2016 election from lawyer Michael Cohen. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Trumps lawyer Michael Cohen exits the US Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. / AFP PHOTO / EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ (Photo credit should read EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, (C) also known as Stormy Daniels arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York on April 16, 2018. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. / AFP PHOTO / Hector RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti(C), arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York on April 16, 2018. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Michael Avenatti (R), attorney for Stormy Daniels, arrives for a court proceeding regarding the search warrants served on President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, at the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 13, 2018 in New York City. Cohen and his lawyers are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to his relationship with President Donald Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences earlier in the week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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"Imagine if that came out on Oct. 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton,” Giuliani said on "Fox and Friends," referring to Daniels' claim she had a one-night stand with Trump in 2006. Cohen and Trump aides have denied any affair.

But in his interview with NBC News Thursday night, Giuliani denied that his remarks amounted to an admission that the payment was a campaign contribution and argued the payment had nothing to do with the campaign.

“If there was no campaign, Cohen would have made the same payment in the same amount to prevent personal embarrassment and heartache to his wife," Giuliani said.

Giuliani repeated that candidate Trump wasn’t aware of the payment in October 2016 and said, “Cohen thought he was doing it to help alleviate a personal problem.”

In April investigators armed with search warrants raided Cohen's offices, hotel room, and home as part of an investigation into his business dealings by the U.S. attorney in New York. Focus has turned to Cohen's close relationship with the president and what he knows about Trump's relationship with Russia.

When asked if part of Trump's legal strategy was to make sure Cohen doesn’t flip on the president, Giuliani responded, “No I don't think he's going to flip. There is nothing for him to flip over.”

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