Donald Trump says he didn’t know about his lawyer’s US$130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels - and her lawyer is delighted
Daniels’ lawyer says Trump admitting to not knowing about the agreement invalidates it - and lets the porn star go public about her alleged affair with the president
US President Donald Trump has denied knowing about a US$130,000 payment made by his lawyer to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about a sexual encounter she says she had with the president.
In his first public remarks about Daniels’ allegations, Trump said aboard Air Force One on Thursday that he did not know where his lawyer, Michael Cohen, got the money to pay Daniels. Cohen has said he paid Daniels out of his own pocket.
“No, I don’t know,” Trump told reporters when asked if he knew where the money came from. “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”
That was music to the ears of Daniels’ lawyer, who says that Trump’s announcement proves that the silencing order is invalid - and she is therefore free to talk about their “affair”.
Good (actually GREAT) things come to those who wait!!! The strength of our case just went up exponentially. You can't have an agreement when one party claims to know nothing about it. #nodiscipline #thanksforplaying #basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 5, 2018
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, last month sued Cohen to be released from the non-disclosure agreement she signed in October 2016 in exchange for the payment from him.
She says that as Trump himself did not sign the agreement, it is not legally binding.
After Trump’s comments, her lawyer, Michael Avanetti tweeted: “Good (actually GREAT) things come to those who wait!!! The strength of our case just went up exponentially.
“You can't have an agreement when one party claims to know nothing about it. #nodiscipline #thanksforplaying #basta”.
He also tweeted: “We very much look forward to testing the truthfulness of Mr. Trump’s feigned lack of knowledge concerning the $130k payment as stated on Air Force One.”
“As history teaches us,” he added, “it is one thing to deceive the press and quite another to do so under oath.”
In a third tweet, he wrote: “Be clear: We will NEVER accept any settlement, regardless of the amount of money, that does not include Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump coming 100% (meaning 100%) clean with the American people. People that say this is about money haven’t been paying attention. #searchforthetruth #basta”
The White House has denied that Trump had sex with Daniels. Daniels has said she and Trump had sex once in 2006, when he was married, but that they kept in touch for a period of time.