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Trump Discloses Payment to Attorney Who Paid off Porn Star

Trump Discloses Payment to Attorney Who Paid off Porn Star

The Office of Government Ethics released President Donald Trump's annual Personal Financial Disclosure Report on Wednesday, and it documents reimbursements totaling as much as $250,000 to his attorney, Michael D. Cohen, as reimbursement.

Cohen has previously said he paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 as part of a settlement and non-disclosure agreement reached just before the election in 2016.

A footnote in the 92-page document claims that the expense was not required to be reported on Trump's 2016 disclosure form, but "in the interest of transparency" says that Cohen was reimbursed without interest a year ago for an amount in the range of 100,000-250,000 dollars.

After a string of media appearances earlier this month that created more problems for the president than they solved, Rudy Giuliani made his return to the Trump-friendly programming of Fox News on Wednesday night.

The payment has been central to complaints filed by watchdog groups alleging that Trump, his campaign and Cohen violated campaign finance laws when Daniels was paid shortly before the election and then further broke the law when the payment was not disclosed in previous filings. A footnote in tiny type on page 45 of the 92 page document says the president "fully reimbursed" Cohen for "expenses" ranging from $100,001 to $250,000.

In addition, the Office of Government Ethics released a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein saying that it had concluded that Trump was required to disclose this liability owed to Cohen. Trump and Giuliani have clashed over what the president knew and when he knew it.

The document filed by President Trump states that he disclosed the payment "in the interest of transparency" and not because he was required to do so. Among his holdings, he took in $25 million from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Giuliani said Trump started paying Cohen back through a series of monthly installments of roughly $35,000 and that those payments began last year and may have carried into this year. "I think if it's an expenditure rather than a liability, you don't have to disclose expenditures, but that's lawyers quibbling". Dillon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Reporter: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels? His Doral golf course and resort in Miami took in $75 million.

The figures are before expenses and so give no indication of how much profit the president made off the properties.

The disclosure, signed by Trump and released by the US Office of Government Ethics, did not describe the objective or the recipient of the original 2016 payment to a "third party" made by Cohen, for which he was reimbursed by Trump.

Suspicious-activity reports are not proof of criminal wrongdoing, but if the source is correct, last week's reports only covered about a quarter of the $4 million worth of transactions that the bank found fishy. "He had donated something close to $100 million, what's another $100,000?"

Before taking office, Trump said he shifted day-to-day control of his business to his sons, primarily Eric Trump.

His report shows that Trump received $64,840 from the Screen Actors Guild pension fund. Trump has appeared in several movies, including "Home Alone 2" and "Zoolander".

The president reported royalties from his 1987 book Art of the Deal in the same $100,000-$1m range as he did past year - and sales for some of his lesser titles picked up.


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