Rudy Giuliani Says Michael Cohen May Have Paid Other Women To Keep Quiet About Trump, Too
In an interview with ABC, Rudy Giuliani suggested Michael Cohen's payment to Stormy Daniels in 2016 might not have been the only one made on behalf of Donald Trump. Giuliani, who only recently joined the president's legal team, insisted that similar payments were normal for someone of his client's stature. In other words, he's implying Cohen could've paid other women to keep quiet about relationships with Trump.
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's The Week, Giuliani said he wasn't aware of any other payments similar to the one made to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. But, he did acknowledge that other payments might exist.
"I have no knowledge of that but ... I would think if it was necessary, yes," Giuliani told Stephanopoulos.
This revelation is just the latest in Giuliani's television appearances. Last week, the former mayor of New York told Fox News' Sean Hannity that Trump personally reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels. "The president repaid it," Giuliani confirmed to a surprised Hannity.
The president "didn’t know about the specifics of it, as far as I know," Giuliani added. "But he did know the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this, like I take care of things like this with my clients."
Giuliani issued a statement on Friday afternoon to clarify his interview with Hannity:
First: There is no campaign violation. The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the president's family. It would have been done in any event, whether [Trump] was a candidate or not.
Second: My references to timing were not describing my understanding of the president's knowledge, but instead, my understanding of these matters.
Cohen has maintained that "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,” according to The Washington Post.
Daniels claims that she and Trump had sex in 2006, which the president denies. But during the 2016 presidential election, Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 as hush money — a non-disclosure agreement reportedly meant to keep her quiet about the encounter.
While Giuliani raised the possibility of other potential hush payments on behalf of the president, he also suggested that the $130,000 payment made to Daniels is not enough money to be considered a real payment.
"$130,000 between a lawyer and a client who’s worth billions is not ― I don’t like saying this ― not a great deal of money," he told Stephanopoulos. "$1.3 million is a great deal of money. That’s the kind of money you would think of as a settlement."
The payment — regardless if it is "not a great deal of money" — could be problematic. According to The Washington Post, federal prosecutors are investigating whether the payment was made to benefit Trump's presidential campaign. Cohen remains under "criminal investigation," according to The Daily Beast. The Justice Department's filing says Cohen is under investigation for "fraud" and "acts of concealment" as a part of a grand jury investigation, according to The Daily Beast's mid-April report.
In the Sunday morning interview, Giuliani also made sure to let Stephanopoulos know that he does not have all the facts. "My issue is getting up to speed on the facts here. I’m about halfway there," Giuliani said.
Giuliani's apparent lack of understanding about the facts of the payment is a sentiment argued by the president as well. " Rudy is a great guy, but he just started a day ago," Trump said on Friday. "He started yesterday. ... He'll get his facts straight."