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Trump confirms Stormy Daniels payment, says it was not connected to presidential campaign
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Trump confirms Stormy Daniels payment, says it was not connected to presidential campaign

President Donald Trump has responded to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's claims that no campaign funds went to porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

What's the background?

Giuliani appeared Wednesday on Fox News' "Hannity," where he attempted to explain that no campaign finance laws were violated in attorney Michael Cohen's payment to Clifford.

"I was talking about the $130,000 payment, the settlement payment, which is a very regular thing for lawyers to do," Giulani told host Sean Hannity. "The question there was, the only possible violation there would be, was it a campaign finance violation? Which usually would result in a fine by the way, not this big stormtroopers coming in and breaking down his apartment and breaking down his office."

Giuliani added, "That was money that was paid by his lawyer, the way that I would do, out of his law firm funds, or whatever funds, doesn’t matter – the president reimbursed that over a period of several months."

"The fact is, just trust me," he continued. "They’re gonna come up with no violations there. ... the payment was perfectly legal. All documented."

On Wednesday, Giuliani also told The New York Times that "some time after the campaign is over, [Trump and Cohen] set up a reimbursement, $35,000 a month, out of [Trump's] personal family account."

The Times added that Trump paid Cohen "$460,000 or $470,000 ... through those payments," which "also included money for 'incidental expenses'" that Cohen had incurred on Trump's behalf.

Why does what Giuliani said matter?

Trump, during an April interview on Air Force One, said that he had nothing to do with any sort of payment to Clifford through Cohen.

A reporter aboard the plane asked, "Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?"

"No," Trump responded, and added that he didn't know where Cohen obtained the money to pay Clifford.

What's Trump saying now?

In a lengthy Twitter statement, Trump wrote, "Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA."

"These agreements are very common among celebrities and people of wealth," he added. "In this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in Arbitration for damages against Ms. Clifford (Daniels). The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair, despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair."

"Prior to its violation by Ms. Clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll [sic] in this transaction."

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