President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer complained to friends that he didn’t get reimbursed for his six-figure payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
Michael Cohen paid Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, $130,000 out of his own pocket just days before the 2016 election as part of a reported nondisclosure agreement to prevent her from going public with an alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006. (Cohen and the White House have denied the allegation of an affair.)
Cohen, who previously worked as a counsel to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, last month admitted to making the payment, called it a “private transaction” and denying it violated campaign finance laws.
“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. The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone,” Cohen said in a statement at the time.
But according to The Wall Street Journal, Cohen used his own funds to wire money to Clifford’s lawyer on Oct. 27, 2016 only because he was unable to get ahold of Trump in the final hectic days before the presidential election.
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Later, after Trump’s unexpected victory, Cohen complained to friends that he had not been reimbursed for the payment, sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Cohen’s bank, First Republic Bank, later flagged the transaction as suspicious and reported it to the Treasury Department, according to the Journal.
Cohen responded to the Journal‘s request for comment with an emailed statement that simply said: “Fake News.”