Rudy Giuliani issued a statement on Friday clarifying recent comments that he made about a $130,000 payment made by President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.
During an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Wednesday night, Giuliani — who recently joined the president’s private legal team — stated that Trump made the payment to Daniels himself through Cohen.
Giuliani added that Trump did not know the details of the payment until within the last two weeks, but had Cohen on a retainer fee of $35,000 a month to handle personal legal matters.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, signed a nondisclosure agreement with Cohen on behalf of Trump in late October 2016, just days before the presidential election, and a few weeks after the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump spoke lewdly about sexual encounters with women.
In a “Fox & Friends” interview on Thursday, Giuliani acknowledged if Clifford had come out with her allegations of a 2006 sexual liaison with Trump right before the election, it would have been detrimental to his candidacy.
In a statement released on Friday, the former New York mayor disavowed any notion the payment was made solely because Trump was a presidential candidate.
“First: There is no campaign violation,” Giuliani wrote. “The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the President’s family. It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 4, 2018
Giuliani also added, “My references to the timing were not describing my understanding of the President’s knowledge, but instead, my understanding of these matters.”
Trump responded to Giuliani’s recent comments on Friday at the White House indicating the former prosecutor is still getting up to speed on all the relevant facts in the matter.
“Rudy is a great guy but just started a day ago,” Trump said. “Rudy knows this is a witch hunt. He started yesterday. … He’ll get his facts straight.”
Trump: "Rudy knows it is a witch hunt. He started yesterday. He'll get his facts straight." (via CNN) pic.twitter.com/mhWhZAs90A
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 4, 2018
Later at Andrews Air Force base, Trump reiterated his support for Giuliani, and added he is willing to sit down with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team regarding the Russia investigation if “it’s a fair situation.”
Trump tweeted about the Daniels matter on Thursday confirming that Cohen had acted as his attorney in the matter.
He wrote that non-disclosure agreements, like the one Cohen entered into with Clifford on Trump’s behalf, are “very common among celebrities and people of wealth” and said the purpose was “to stop the false and extortionist accusations by her about an affair.”
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