WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Thursday that he paid a monthly retainer to his former lawyer and fixer, suggesting that a payment to a pornographic film actress was not a campaign contribution — comments that appear to contradict his earlier statements that he knew of no such payment to the actress who says she had an affair with Mr. Trump.
The president continues to deny the affair.
In a pair of Twitter posts Thursday morning, Mr. Trump backed up a surprising announcement that came late on Wednesday by the president’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who said Mr. Trump repaid a $130,000 payment that his former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, made to the actress Stephanie Clifford just days before the presidential election in 2016. Mr. Giuliani said this removed the question of whether it was a campaign finance violation.
The president’s new statements about the payment and a nondisclosure agreement with Ms. Clifford, who performs under the name Stormy Daniels, potentially signal a shift in strategy for the legal fight with the actress.
Ms. Clifford is suing Mr. Cohen to try to be released from the nondisclosure agreement. Mr. Cohen is under federal investigation for bank fraud, raising concerns in the president’s inner circle that Mr. Cohen will cooperate with the government.
The president’s tweets on Thursday were far more formal that his usual morning messages to the world, which often include words in all capital letters and are punctuated with exclamation points.Continue reading the main story