On Wednesday evening, the former mayor of New York City joined Fox News and probably didn't quite mean to throw the president under the bus. But the video of Rudy Giuliani telling Sean Hannity about Stormy Daniels' $130,000 payment from Michael Cohen reveals a new piece of info you didn't see coming. Though the president has denied knowing about his lawyer's payment to Stormy Daniels back in 2016, Giuliani claims Trump actually paid Cohen back for it. Needless to say, the president's going to have some explaining to do.
Unlike other White House related drama, the alleged affair between the adult film star and Trump isn't dissipating as time goes on. In fact, you could actually say it keeps getting more and more interesting. While Trump has denied knowing anything about the $130,000 payment to Daniels, he's also admitted that Cohen represented him in a case involving her. And to be clear, the White House has vehemently denied the alleged Daniels-Trump affair. Toward the end of April during an interview with Fox & Friends, though, Trump said:
He represents me — like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me. And, you know, from what I see, he did absolutely nothing wrong. There were no campaign funds going into this, which would have been a problem.
But Giuliani and Hannity took the story a step further — maybe further than Trump would have preferred. Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment.
During the interview, Giuliani segued into a conversation Cohen's payment to Daniels, as well as campaign finance laws. He said:
That money was not campaign money. Sorry, I'm giving you a fact you don't know. It's not campaign money. No campaign finance violation. ... They funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it.
"Oh, I didn't know he did," Hannity responded. "But do you know the president didn't know about this? I believe that's what Michael had said."
Giuliani responded, "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."
Later on, Giuliani told Fox News that he meant Trump had paid Cohen back for "expenses" in general. The president only found out about the Daniels payment, Giuliani claimed, once the case became public knowledge.
As you can tell, though, even Hannity seemed surprised by the fact that Giuliani was so readily giving up info like this. And to make matters possibly worse for the former mayor, he'd just announced on April 19 that he was joining Trump's legal team to help deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. Trump and the Kremlin have denied the collusion allegations. The president has yet to react to Giuliani's interview with Hannity.
This isn't the first time things have gotten tricky with the Trump-Daniels case, though. After the president initially admitted that Cohen represented him in a case related to Daniels, her lawyer Michael Avenatti tweeted:
Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen previously represented to the American people that Mr. Cohen acted on his own and Mr. Trump knew nothing about the agreement with my client. As I predicted, that has now been shown to be completely false.
And now that Giuliani has claimed Trump actually paid Cohen back with money from his own pocket, it seems like the president knew more than he originally suggested.
"I am stunned and speechless," Avenatti told CNN concerning Giuliani's interview. "If this is accurate, the American people have been lied to and deceived for months. And justice must be served."
Just two days prior to this, in fact, Daniels herself filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump, and it's not the only action she's taken. She's also suing the president in an effort to invalidate the alleged non-disclosure agreement that prevents her from speaking out about the alleged affair. That hearing is set to happen in July. Though it's clear Cohen paid $130,000 to Daniels, he has not disclosed the reason why.