Porn-star hush money: No respite for Trump

President Donald Trump reported having paid his personal attorney more than $100,000 as a reimbursement for a payment made

US President Donald Trump today acknowledged that he paid his personal attorney Michael Cohen as much as Dollars 250,000 as reimbursements for election-related expenses, apparently including a USD 130,000 payment given to adult film star Stormy Daniels who alleges she had an affair with the then presidential candidate.

Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said he's vetting claims of agreements between additional women and President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, involving hush-money payments.

No mention was made of a $130,000 paid to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged affair.

Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's current lawyers, told Fox News Channel that the repayment did not have "to be disclosed at all because I think it was an expenditure that he reimbursed".

The disclosure caps a series of contradictory statements from Trump and his representatives on the scandal swirling around lawyer Michael Cohen - which has widened to ensnare major corporations and a Russian oligarch.

This year's report shows Trump paid Mr Cohen more than $100,000 for expenses incurred in 2016, although it does not specify the goal of the reimbursement. "You'll have to ask Michael Cohen".

"I don't think he's right", Giuliani said of Apol. But Giuliani said in early May that the president had indeed repaid Cohen.

"Novartis believed that Michael Cohen could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain United States healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act", Novartis said. Dillon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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And David Apol, director of the Office of Government Ethics, referred the matter to the Justice Department.

CREW, a liberal-leaning watchdog group, filed a complaint with the ethics office that was referenced in Apol's letter. The value of the payment ranged from $100,001 to $250,000.

"Mr. Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Mr. Cohen in 2017", it said.

While Apol didn't say so in his letter, this means Trump could have committed a crime by not disclosing the liability in his financial disclosure report a year ago.

A liberal-leaning watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed a complaint in March requesting an investigation into the payment and whether Trump broke the law by failing to disclose it a year ago. According to ethics document, Trump's income was $25 million in 2017 and more than $15 million from the golf club.

Giuliani said he knew news of the payment would come out, even if he didn't know "exactly when or what would come out".

But ethics officials said in a note on his form that they have concluded otherwise.

Besides Trump and Cohen payment, the ethics document has information on Trump's personal businesses.

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