That payment made on behalf of Donald Trump to keep pornographic film star Stormy Daniels quiet?
Turns out the $130,000 came out of Trump’s lawyer’s pocket.
As first reported by The New York Times on Tuesday, Michael Cohen says that he himself doled out the hush money to actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels.
Cohen reportedly created a private LLC to pay Clifford just weeks before the 2016 election. The money was allegedly intended to buy her silence over a reported 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.
“In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford,” Cohen said in a statement to Fortune. “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.”
He further explained that the payment was lawful, and “was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.” This is the first time that Cohen has confirmed his role in the payment made to Clifford.
Despite acknowledging the payment made to Clifford, Cohen has maintained that Trump “vehemently denies” any encounter between himself and Clifford. “Just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean that it can’t cause you harm or damage,” Cohen said in his statement. “I will always protect Mr. Trump.”