President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, said on Tuesday that he had paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to adult film star Stephanie Clifford, the New York Times reported.
NBC News later confirmed the story.
In a statement, Cohen said the Trump Organization and the Trump campaign were not involved in the transaction and that neither had reimbursed him for the payment made to Clifford, according to the Times.
Clifford, who uses the stage name Stormy Daniels, once claimed to have had an affair with Trump. The newspaper added that Cohen said the payment "was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone."
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen had created a limited-liability company in October 2016 — about a month before the presidential election — to pay Clifford in exchange for her signing a nondisclosure agreement about her allegations of an affair.
The Times said that Cohen declined to answer follow-up questions including whether Trump knew that he had made the payment, why he made the payment and if he had made similar payments to other people over time.
Cohen previously said Trump has denied an affair with Clifford.
Read Cohen's statement here:
In late January 2018, I received a copy of a complaint filed at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by Common Cause. The complaint alleges that I somehow violated campaign finance laws by facilitating an excess, in-kind contribution. The allegations in the complaint are factually unsupported and without legal merit, and my counsel has submitted a response to the FEC.
I am Mr. Trump's longtime special counsel and I have proudly served in that role for more than a decade. In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford. 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. The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.
I do not plan to provide any further comment on the FEC matter or regarding Ms. Clifford.