(National Sentinel) Legal: During an appearance Wednesday evening on Fox News‘ Sean Hannity program, presidential lawyer and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that the $130,000 payment made to adult entertainment star Stormy Daniels was not an in-kind campaign contribution from President Donald J. Trump.
Giuliani told Hannity that Trump reimbursed his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, $130,000 he paid Daniels over a period of several months.
The former mayor and federal prosecutor also said that Trump was simply reimbursing Cohen for “unspecified” expenses and that he was unaware of what the money was used for.
Trump told reporters last month aboard Air Force One that he did not know the details about the $130,000 payment. “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen about that,” he said.
Two days later FBI agents raided Cohen’s office, in part to look for evidence that the payment was a violation of campaign finance laws — which are normally not handled by the FBI but by the Federal Election Commission.
Nevertheless, Giuliani’s explanation that Trump put Cohen on a “retainer of $35,000 when he was doing no work for the president” was evidence that Cohen was reimbursed, and therefore his payment to Daniels was not an in-kind contribution.
“Paying Stormy Daniels $130,000 turning out to be perfectly legal. That money was not campaign money. Sorry, I’m giving you a fact not that you don’t know. It’s not campaign money…[Trump] knew he would take care of things like this — like I take care of this stuff with my clients, I don’t burden them with every single thing.”
“I said, ‘That’s how he’s repaying it, with a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes,'” Giuliani continued.
He added that Trump “didn’t know about the specifics of [the payment], as far as I know, but he did know about the general arrangement that Michael would take care of things like this.
“These are busy people,” he said.
On Twitter, Trump said Cohen received a monthly retainer “from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA.” He added that the agreement “was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by [Daniels] about an affair.”