President Donald Trump said Thursday he did not know about the $130,000 payment his personal attorney has acknowledged making to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual interaction with Trump.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One following a tax-reform event in West Virginia, the president directly commented on the controversy for the first time since news of the payment was reported by the Wall Street Journal in January.
Asked by reporters whether he knew about the payment his lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels, Trump replied: "No."
“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen," Trump said when pressed on why Cohen made the payment. "Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”
White House officials have said Trump denies the allegations by Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford and who says she had sex with him in 2006. But the president had remained uncharacteristically silent on the matter.
The president added Thursday that he didn't know where the money came from. Cohen has said he paid Daniels out of his own pocket, saying he drew on a home equity line to come up with the cash.