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Giuliani says Trump reimbursed Cohen for Stormy Daniels payment

Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that President Donald Trump paid back his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the $130,000 i...

Posted: May 3, 2018 11:35 AM
Updated: May 3, 2018 11:35 AM

Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that President Donald Trump paid back his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the $130,000 in hush money that was used to pay off Stormy Daniels.

The payment is going to turn out to be "perfectly legal," Giuliani said in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.

"That money was not campaign money, sorry," Giuliani said. "I'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. It's not campaign money. No campaign finance violation."

Hannity replied: "Because they funneled it through the law firm?"

To which Giuliani said: "Funneled it through the law firm, and the President repaid him."

Giuliani recently joined Trump's legal team in an effort to bring special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's 2016 election meddling and any possible coordination with the Trump campaign to an end. The addition of Giuliani came following the departure of Trump's former lawyer John Dowd.

Trump previously denied knowledge of the payment, which has since spurred a lawsuit against the President.

When asked about Giuliani's comments, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News that it is ongoing litigation and referred the questions to the President's outside counsel.

Later, Giuliani told The Washington Post he had spoken to the President far in advance about publicly discussing the reimbursement, and said he doesn't expect to be fired. He said his remarks on Hannity were approved by Trump.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal after the Fox News interview aired, Giuliani said again that Trump had paid Cohen back, but argued that it was not a campaign finance violation or a crime of any kind.

When asked whether his statements to Fox contradict Trump's previous denial of knowledge of the payment, Giuliani said it was "not [an] issue," according to the Journal. Trump was "probably not aware" of Cohen's payment to Daniels when it happened, he added.

"Remember October 2016, hardly will recall any of that in detail. I don't remember it clearly either," Giuliani said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Cohen admitted to paying Daniels out of his own pocket through a private LLC. However, Trump never signed the nondisclosure agreement, so Daniels is claiming in her suit that the agreement is now void.

"In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford," Cohen said in a statement in February. "Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly."

There have been questions surrounding the legality of the payment considering various campaign finance laws.

In January, the group Common Cause sent letters to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the Federal Election Commission asking them to investigate the Daniels payment, calling it an illegal in-kind campaign contribution.

Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti said he was "stunned" by Giuliani's claim that Trump knew about the payment. "I am stunned and speechless. If this is accurate, the American people have been lied to and deceived for months. And justice must be served," Avenatti said.

Common Cause's Paul S. Ryan said Giuliani's comments could expose Trump to possible criminal prosecution, along with Cohen. Ryan said if Trump reimbursed Cohen that would mean Trump knew about the payment, which would make Trump vulnerable.

Ryan said despite whether Cohen was paid back, Trump's lawyer could have violated campaign contribution law, because Ryan said it appears Cohen made an illegally large in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign.

In the same interview, Giuliani also called ex-FBI Director James Comey a "disgraceful liar," and said he thinks Comey should be prosecuted.

"I know James Comey. I know the President. Sorry Jim, you're a liar -- a disgraceful liar," Giuliani said.

Giuliani then went on to say that "every FBI agent in America has his head down," because of Comey.

Comey and Trump have had a tumultuous relationship following Comey's firing. Comey recently published a memoir, which detailed his encounters with the President, and has said he thinks Trump is "morally unfit" for the presidency.

Trump, in turn, has also repeatedly sounded off on Comey via social media.

Prior to Comey's book release, Trump even insinuated Comey should go to jail, tweeting: "The big questions in Comey's badly reviewed book aren't answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn't they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe's $700,000 & more?"

Giuliani echoed that suggestion on Fox News, telling Hannity that Comey should be prosecuted.

"Comey should be prosecuted for leaking confidential FBI information when he leaked his report intended to develop a special prosecutor for the President of the United States," Giuliani said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 455783

Reported Deaths: 6166
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin945441502
Ramsey40698749
Dakota33623354
Anoka31398368
Washington20579237
Stearns18111190
St. Louis14006251
Scott1221199
Wright11811107
Olmsted1083075
Sherburne831270
Carver705639
Clay660684
Rice624774
Kandiyohi558772
Blue Earth549533
Crow Wing490678
Otter Tail464968
Chisago460438
Benton423788
Winona394948
Douglas379766
Nobles374847
Mower374429
Goodhue358163
Polk330760
McLeod328647
Beltrami316148
Morrison314645
Lyon306139
Becker289439
Itasca287843
Isanti286143
Carlton284443
Steele279510
Pine270515
Freeborn254723
Todd233730
Nicollet230538
Brown218634
Mille Lacs215745
Le Sueur214416
Cass210824
Meeker201533
Waseca193316
Wabasha17483
Martin172026
Roseau166517
Hubbard151138
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Renville138540
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Fillmore12778
Wadena120818
Rock112012
Aitkin111533
Faribault110116
Sibley11017
Watonwan10698
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Kanabec99818
Pipestone97223
Yellow Medicine95016
Murray9137
Jackson87310
Swift84718
Pope7485
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Marshall70415
Clearwater68814
Lake66415
Lac qui Parle66116
Wilkin63510
Koochiching60810
Lincoln4912
Big Stone4703
Unassigned43968
Grant4388
Norman4268
Mahnomen4167
Kittson37420
Red Lake3204
Traverse2623
Lake of the Woods1981
Cook1160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312194

Reported Deaths: 4433
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46975465
Linn18114279
Scott15900172
Black Hawk14123243
Woodbury13145181
Johnson1231752
Dubuque11651159
Pottawattamie9182115
Dallas910872
Story883538
Cerro Gordo474372
Webster473377
Warren461539
Sioux460457
Clinton459168
Marshall432262
Buena Vista397230
Muscatine396578
Des Moines395543
Plymouth353670
Wapello351798
Jasper333359
Lee326932
Marion310853
Jones275250
Henry269131
Carroll258934
Bremer250448
Crawford235824
Washington224133
Boone223517
Benton213950
Mahaska198637
Jackson195332
Tama190959
Dickinson189229
Kossuth180944
Delaware176536
Clay173021
Wright167624
Fayette166324
Hamilton162530
Buchanan162324
Winneshiek161020
Harrison158762
Hardin157831
Cedar155819
Clayton153949
Butler152324
Page148115
Floyd141936
Cherokee140327
Mills138517
Lyon137933
Poweshiek135424
Hancock132424
Allamakee131530
Iowa128022
Madison124210
Calhoun12379
Grundy122828
Jefferson122425
Winnebago122329
Mitchell117137
Louisa116430
Cass115343
Chickasaw113812
Appanoose113040
Sac112815
Union111723
Emmet111332
Humboldt107819
Shelby106427
Guthrie104624
Franklin103618
Unassigned10210
Palo Alto92611
Montgomery89224
Keokuk86426
Howard85919
Monroe82620
Clarke8199
Pocahontas78711
Ida76430
Davis70421
Adair69720
Greene6977
Monona68418
Lucas66910
Osceola65011
Worth6224
Taylor6009
Fremont5276
Van Buren50515
Decatur4994
Ringgold45511
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Wayne42021
Adams3023
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