U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said money from his presidential campaign was not used to pay off adult-film star Stormy Daniels, publicly acknowledging the payment for the first time.
Trump also denied any sexual encounter with her years ago.
In a series of early posts on Twitter, Trump said he had reimbursed his lawyer Michael Cohen the 130,000 dollars that Cohen paid Daniels in 2016 as part of a contract for her silence over an alleged one-night stand with Trump in 2006.
Trump stated: “Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no role (sic) in this transaction.”
His comments came after former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who joined Trump’s legal team in April, said on Wednesday Trump had repaid Cohen the hush money that was given to Daniels.
Trump had told newsmen on Air Force One in April that he did not know about the payment to Daniels or the source of the money.
The White House has denied that Trump ever had sex with Clifford.
Asked about the latest remarks by Giuliani and Trump, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told Fox News on Thursday she could not comment as the litigation was ongoing.
Giuliani, in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” programme, said Trump did not know the details of the arrangement until about 10 days ago, saying the agreement with Daniels was made for personal reasons in an effort to protect Trump’s family.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has filed two lawsuits against Trump, one to get out of a non-disclosure agreement she had signed in October 2016 just ahead of the November presidential election in exchange for the 130,000 dollars.
He was also charged for defamation.
Her lawyer Michael Avenatti, asked about the president’s tweets, told MSNBC the president had opened himself up to another possible lawsuit for defamation.
Ayenatti said: “Our case just got exponentially better, this is not about sex, this is about a cover up.”
In his posts, Trump said the 2016 contract was used to stop what he described as the false and extortionist accusations made by (Daniels) about an affair and that it had been violated.
Daniels discussed her 2006 encounter with Trump in an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that was broadcast in March.
Avenatti has said that appearance did not violate the agreement because Trump had not signed the contract.