‘False and Extortionist Accusations’: Trump Says Stormy Daniels Payments Didn’t Break Campaign Law

In a series of tweets on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump made his most direct comments on the controversy surrounding payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in an attempt explain the payments and quell accusations of wrongdoing.

Trump began by addressing the situation surrounding his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who has been under investigation by federal authorities for unnamed charges related to his business dealings.

Trying to explain away suspicions that the payments made to Daniels violated campaign finance regulations, Trump said that Cohen had “nothing to do with the campaign” when he paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, $130,000 in a nondisclosure agreement designed to keep her silent about allegations of an affair she claims to have had with Trump before he was elected to public office.

The president’s comments seem to have been prompted in part by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments on Fox News Wednesday night during which he confirmed that Trump repaid Cohen for the payment made to Daniels, a statement the president’s legal team has been careful to avoid until now.

The statements made by Giuliani, who was recently added to Trump’s legal team to work on ending the Russia investigation, also seem to contradict the president’s previous claims that he knew nothing about the payments made to Daniels. 

In his tweets, Trump admitted that Cohen was paid “through reimbursement,” but described the agreement with Daniels as a “private contract.”

In his first mention of Daniels by name on Twitter, the president argued that the NDA will be used in legal action to stop the porn actress from leveling “false and extortionist accusations.”

Trump went on to bash Daniels for violating the terms of the agreement by going public with her allegations. The grueling legal battle between the two has dominated media cycles for the past few months as suspicions of wrongdoing rise.

But breaking from his usual style of tweets, Trump’s remarks on the Daniels case takes a much more judicial tone as he denies that the settlement with Daniels was paid using campaign money.

“Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction,” Trump explained.

The president has repeatedly denied that any affair ever took place between him and Daniels, and his most recent tweets seem designed to deny that any campaign finance laws were broken in the payments made by Cohen.

But with mounting legal battles and accusations coming from Daniels, it’ll take more than a few tweets to stop the president’s opponents from using the issue against him.

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