Stormy Daniels: Trump discloses payment to reimburse lawyer

Media captionWas Trump’s Stormy Daniels payment legal?

US President Donald Trump has officially disclosed his reimbursement of his lawyer for a payment to a porn star to hush her claims of an affair.

The Office of Government Ethics said on Wednesday that Mr Trump ought to have revealed the payment in his previous financial disclosure.

The filing shows he paid back Michael Cohen for a 2016 expense of between $100,001 (£75,000) and $250,000.

Mr Trump previously denied knowing of the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels.

Media captionStormy Daniels: “I was threatened”

The White House stated in a footnote to the filing that it was listing the payment “in the interest of transparency”, even though it contended it did not have to make the disclosure.

However, the head of the Office of Government Ethics wrote in a letter that “the payment made by Mr Cohen is required to be reported as a liability”.

The payment is a potential legal problem for the president because it could arguably be seen as an illegal campaign contribution.

Mr Cohen, whose records relating to the settlement were seized in an FBI raid last month, is now reportedly under criminal investigation.

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Stormy Daniels

Image caption

Stormy Daniels says she had sex with Mr Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2006

In April, Mr Trump said he was unaware Mr Cohen had paid Ms Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election and did not know where the money had come from.

Mr Trump’s payment to Mr Cohen was first confirmed a fortnight ago by Rudy Giuliani, another of the president’s attorneys, in a television interview.

Mr Giuliani said the transaction was to keep Ms Daniels quiet about her “false and extortionist accusation” that she had sex with Mr Trump, suggesting her claim could have damaged his candidacy.

Later that week, the president said Mr Giuliani needed time to “get his facts straight”.

Stormy Daniels: Trump discloses payment to reimburse lawyer

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