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Trump Lawyer Reportedly Paid Off Stormy Daniels to Keep Quiet About Alleged Affair

Stephanie Clifford (Chad Buchanan/Getty Images)

Stephanie Clifford (Chad Buchanan/Getty Images)

President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen said his payment of $130,000 to the former pornographic film star Stormy Daniels was of his own money, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal first reported in January that Cohen had paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in October of 2016, in order to keep her quiet about claims of an affair she had with Trump.

The nonprofit watchdog organization Common Cause reportedly alleged that Cohen’s payment “was an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign,” wrote the Times. In a statement to the Times, Cohen said he was not reimbursed for his payment to Clifford by Trump’s organization or his campaign, and that “the payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”

However, though Cohen denied being paid back by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign, he left out mention of Trump himself, wrote the Washington Post on Wednesday.

Michael D. Cohen (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

Michael D. Cohen (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

Clifford was reportedly speaking with the online publication Slate and ABC’s “Good Morning America” about going public with her story just before the presidential elections, around the same time that the “Access Hollywood” tape was released, the Times reported last month.

Cohen told the Times that Trump “vehemently denies” having had an affair with Clifford, who claims it happened soon after Melania Trump gave birth to their son, Barron Trump.

Cohen also told CNN that his reason for making the payment was that “just because something isn't true doesn't mean that it can't cause you harm or damage.” He added, “I will always protect Mr. Trump.”

Clifford reportedly signed a statement in January that was released by Cohen, which called the rumors of the affair “completely false.” Even so, she has not publicly denied the alleged affair, wrote the Times, and would not forthrightly answer questions about it when she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live in January.