In a bombshell interview on “Hannity” Wednesday night, Rudy Giuliani revealed for the first time that his boss Donald Trump reimbursed his personal attorney Michael Cohen for the infamous $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Shortly after dropping the bomb, Giuliani explained to The Washington Post’s Robert Costa how Trump repaid Cohen without knowing the details about the nondisclosure agreement with Daniels.
One of the major questions after the FBI raided Cohen’s office, home and hotel room and confiscated his personal and professional records is how exactly Cohen got the money to pay Daniels for the 2016 NDA, in which she agreed to not talk publicly about her alleged one-night romp with Trump in 2006. If the money came from the Trump campaign, it could be a violation of campaign finance law. Both Trump and Cohen deny that Trump knew anything about the NDA. When asked in April where the money came from, Trump said he didn’t know, while Cohen says he paid for it himself.
Speaking with Sean Hannity Wednesday, Giuliani reiterated that Trump did not know about the NDA but that he did reimburse Cohen through a retainer.
“Sorry, I’m giving you a fact now that you don’t know. It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation,” Giuliani told Hannity. “They funneled through a law firm, and the president repaid it. … When I heard of Cohen’s retainer for $130,000, he was doing no work for the president. I said, ‘Well, that’s how he’s repaying it, with a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes for Michael.'”
Asked if the president knew about the NDA, Giuliani said, ”He didn’t know about the specifics of it, as far as I know. But he did know about the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this. Like, I take care of this with my clients. I don’t burden them with every single thing that comes along. These are busy people.”
After the interview, Giuliani had a discussion with Costa in which he said he had discussed publicly revealing that Trump had in fact paid Cohen “four or five” days prior to the interview. Asked if he was going to get fired, Guiliani said, no, joking that at least, “I don’t think so.” Costa then pressed him for more information about how Trump could’ve paid Cohen but not known about it. Here’s the exchange:
Costa: When did the president, though, recognize that these payments to Michael were going to Stormy Daniels?
Giuliani: Don’t know that. Probably now, when I told him.
Costa: But the president said on April 5 that he didn’t know about the payment.
Giuliani: Absolutely true.
Costa: Does that mean he didn’t know about the payment when it was made to Daniels, or that he didn’t know about it on April 5?
Giuliani: Both. I think. I never asked him that. So you probably should be careful. I don’t know the answer to that, except to say that when I talk to him, it seems to me that he was getting the full picture for the first time.
Costa: Just this spring?
Giuliani: Yeah. About two weeks ago.
Costa: How many payments did it take for the president to settle up with Cohen?
Giuliani: Do the arithmetic, right? $35,000 a month, probably starting in January or February. By the time you get to $250,000, it’s all paid off. Remember, he also paid for the taxes. 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. And that was paid back out of the rest of the money. And Michael earned a fee out of it.
Below is a clip of Giuliani’s interview with Hannity: