One of President Donald Trump’s attorneys in the Russia probe, Rudy Giuliani, left open the possibility that Michael Cohen might have doled out payments like the one he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to other women.
In an interview Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Giuliani said Trump reimbursed Cohen with his own money in a retainer agreement for his services as Trump’s personal attorney, which included $130,000 Cohen paid Daniels to keep quiet about allegations she had a sexual encounter with Trump.
“The agreement with Michael Cohen, as far as I know, is a longstanding agreement that Michael Cohen takes care of situations like this then gets paid for them sometimes,” Giuliani said.
“So did Michael Cohen make payments to other women for the President?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“I have no knowledge of that, but I would think if it was necessary, yes,” Giuliani replied. “He made payments for the President or he’s conducted business for the President, which means he had legal fees, monies laid out and expenditures.”
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway was Trump’s campaign manager when Cohen made the payment to Daniels just weeks before the 2016 presidential election.
Asked by CNN anchor Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” whether she knows of any other payments similar to the one to Daniels, Conway said, “I do not. They didn’t cross my desk as campaign manager.”
“When all the facts and evidence come out, there’s going to be evidence of payments to other women,” Michael Avenatti said Sunday in an interview “State of the Union.” “I think that’s going to be laid bare for the American people.”
Avenatti knocked Giuliani’s explanation that, as a recent addition to Trump’s legal team, he is still “getting up to speed” on the details of the Cohen case and the arrangement with Daniels.
“These are facts you would find out as an attorney in the first 30 minutes of a meeting with a client,” Avenatti said. “This is not that complicated of a situation. Did the President know about the $130,000 payment? When did he know about it? Did he know about the agreement? Did he reimburse it and how did he reimburse it? I mean I don’t understand what’s so complicated about that unless you’re trying to hide things.”
Besides Daniels, former Playboy model Karen McDougal claims she was intimate with Trump “many dozens” of times from 2006 to 2007. Trump has denied the extramarital affair allegations made by Daniels and McDougal.
The FBI raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room last month in part to seek information that included payments made to women who alleged affairs with Trump more than a decade ago. One focus of the raid was to seek records on the deal with Daniels and, according to a source familiar with the matter, on another agreement set up between McDougal and a company that reportedly paid her amid the 2016 presidential campaign cycle to keep her account from publication.
Trump has also been accused by at least 15 women of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual harassment and lewd behavior. The President has denied all the allegations, and at one point during the 2016 campaign, threatened to sue his accusers, although he has yet to do so.