Sanders: I didn't know about Trump's 'hush money' payment

Giuliani Says Trump Repaid His Lawyer For Stormy Daniels Payment

The comments by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani during an appearance on Fox News' "Hannity" appear to contradict Trump's statements several weeks ago, when he said he didn't know about the payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels. "I really don't know why Giuliani said what he did".

And: "Then there probably were other things of a personal nature that Michael took care of, for which the president would have always trusted him as his lawyer, as my clients do with me".

Giuliani addressed Trump's tweets, saying, "I don't think there is any contradiction of that". "These are busy people".

Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with Trump in 2006, is now suing him for defamation.

Like the rest of us, Hannity couldn't believe what he was hearing - which was Giuliani conceding that Trump had lied about Comey and Stormy and Cohen and, we are left to presume, probably everything else. The payment to Daniels, he asserted, would "turn out to be perfectly legal" because the money came out of Trump's own pocket. Giuliani was one of Trump's highest-profile supporters during the 2016 campaign and, due to his handling of the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks as mayor of New York City, remained an icon among the very conservatives Trump was trying to court.

Aside from violating campaign contribution limits and reporting requirements, there is also other, more serious risk for Trump.

Twitter, of course, exploded with reactions to both Giuliani's statement and Trump's confirmation.

Christie said the president should not be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, alluding to Giuliani's motive to reveal Trump's reimbursement.

Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, called Giuliani's comments "a stunning revelation".

"The first awareness I had was during the interview last night", Sanders told reporters.

Cohen "received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement", the non-disclosure agreement involving Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Daniels filed a lawsuit against the president on Monday for defamation after he trashed her claim that she had been threatened by a man representing Trump in 2011.

Daniels claims she had sex with Mr Trump in 2006.

President Trump and Michael Cohen have been forced into admissions about the Stormy Daniels situation that they clearly didn't want to make. He notably did not include the president personally.

The revelation from Giuliani came as Cohen was under escalating legal pressure.

It's also an incredibly high-risk legal strategy, given that federal agents recently raided Cohen's properties, giving prosecutors for the Southern District of NY access to thousands of documents potentially related to the investigation.

Daniels' lawsuit over the hush deal has been delayed, with the judge citing the criminal investigation. "I just made it up as I went along". The best Comey - or anyone - could do is tell Trump he was not now under investigation.

"But it does create a problem because the president has said he knows nothing about this".

"That was money that was paid by his lawyer, the way I would do, out of his law firm funds or whatever funds, it doesn't matter". If so, that could be legally problematic.

This common-sense principle is detailed in a section of the Federal Election Commission's web site entitled "Help for candidates and committees", which would have been good for one of Donald Trump's handlers to read at some point over the last three years. It couldn't have been just to bury the freaky story about Trump's doctor saying Trump aides raided his office, which had to be embarrassing for Trump but which basically sounded like a Peter Sellers movie plot.