21 January 2019

Trump lawyer admits he paid $130,000 to adult film actress

KONFRONTASI-US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer confirmed he paid $130,000 to an adult film actress who allegedly had a sexual relationship with the president.

Michael Cohen, who worked as a counsel to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, said in a statement to The New York Times that he paid the money to Stephanie Clifford out of his own pocket.

“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,” Cohen said.

“The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”

However, Cohen refused to answer several follow-up questions, including whether Trump had known that he made the payment, or why he paid such money or whether he had made similar payments to other people.

The news, which was initially rebutted by Cohen, first broke last month by The Wall Street Journal which said the lawyer brokered payment to Clifford, who Trump met at a golf event in 2006, a year after his marriage to Melania.

In the fall of 2016, Clifford began talking with ABC News for a story involving an extramarital affair with Trump, but Cohen arranged to pay her to stop her from going public.

Following his acknowledgement of the news, officials with Common Cause tried to determine whether the Trump Organization or someone else made the payment.

“The complaint alleges that I somehow violated campaign finance laws by facilitating an excess, in-kind contribution,” Cohen said in his statement. “The allegations in the complaint are factually unsupported and without legal merit, and my counsel has submitted a response to the F.E.C.”

So far, at least 16 women have accused Trump of unwanted sexual advances, allegations Trump dismisses.

Weeks before the presidential election last November, The Washington Post released a tape in which Trump boasted about how he sexually assaulted women because he was powerful.[mr/ptv]



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