Rudy Giuliani, a newly-appointed member of President Donald Trump‘s legal team, is in a very public back-and-forth with the president, after an appearance on Sean Hannity last night and a followup on Fox & Friends.
And it could have serious legal implications.
Last night, Giuliani went on Sean Hannity and contradicted the president’s very public position that he did not know about a $130,000 payment made by Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress, who says she had an affair with Trump in the past.
Giuliani said the Trump “repaid” Cohen the $130,000.
“That money was not campaign money,” Giuliani said, adding: “It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violations… funneled through a law firm and then the president repaid it.”
On Fox & Friends this morning, though, Giuliani repeatedly said the payment was made because of the election implications.
Giuliani continues to draw implicit links between the campaign and the $130,000 payment, on Fox & Friends:— Toluse Olorunnipa (@ToluseO) May 3, 2018
"Imagine if that came out on October of 2016" in the middle of a debate with Clinton? Cohen didn't even ask – "he made it go away"
Giuliani’s said that the president “repaid” Cohen for the hush money after he found out about it. News of the payment first broke in January. Trump told reporters last month that he had no knowledge of the payment.
As the political fall out began to unfold, Trump took to Twitter on Thursday morning, admitting that he paid Daniels to deny the affair.
Earlier this week Daniels sued Trump for a tweet where he called a forensic sketch drawn up of a man she says threatened her a “con job.”
“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,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “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.”
In an interview with the Washington Post, the newly-appointed Trump lawyer said he didn’t know if the president “distinguished it from other things Cohen might have done for him during the campaign.”
However, statements made by Giuliani on Thursday morning during an appearance on Fox & Friends seem to suggest that despite the instance that the payment was not campaign-related, the presidential election was on everyone’s mind when Daniels was given $130,000.
Giuliani was named to Trump’s legal team last month.
What a way to make an entrance.