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Trump attorney brokered $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, report says

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's personal lawyer brokered a $130,000 payment to a porn star to prevent her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, according to a report Friday in the Wall Street Journal.

Trump met Stephanie Clifford, whose goes by the name Stormy Daniels in films, at a golf event in 2006 — a year after Trump's marriage to his wife, Melania. According to the Journal's report, Clifford began talking with ABC News in the fall of 2016 for a story involving an alleged relationship with Trump, but reached a $130,000 deal a month before the election, which prevented her from going public.

Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen arranged for the payment through Clifford's lawyer, Keith Davidson, the Journal reported.

In a statement to the Journal, Cohen did not address his role in negotiating the supposed payment but said Trump denies any such relationship with Clifford. Clifford has previously denied an alleged relationship with Trump.

On Friday afternoon, the White House issued a statement calling the Journal's story "old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election."

Cohen also accused the Journal of perpetuating "a false narrative for over a year."

Fox News published a letter that it said was written by Clifford and signed with "Stormy Daniels." In it she also denied all allegations.

"I recently became aware that certain news outlets are alleging that I had a sexual and/or romantic affair with Donald Trump many, many, many years ago. I am stating with complete clarity that this is absolutely false," Clifford said in the letter." "My involvement with Donald Trump was limited to a few public appearances and nothing more."

Clifford wrote in the letter that when she met Trump, he was "gracious, professional and a complete gentleman to me and EVERYONE in my presence."

"Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false," the letter read. "If indeed I did have a relationship with Donald Trump, trust me, you wouldn't be reading about it in the news, you would be reading about it in my book. But the fact of the matter is, these stories are not true."

Just days before the 2016 election, the Journal published a story stating that the National Enquirer — run by David Pecker, a fervid supporter of Trump — had paid $150,000 to silence former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal about a sexual relationship she allegedly had with Trump a decade ago.

Clifford had at least a brief history in Tampa. She was arrested July 25, 2009, on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence battery that was later dropped. She was 30 at the time and listed an address on Wyoming Avenue in South Tampa.

Police reported that she and her husband, Michael Mosny, had a row that included Daniels throwing a potted plant and a wedding album. She was upset about the way their father-in-law did laundry and upset that her husband hadn't paid bills, according to Tampa Bay Times archives.

The arrest brought attention, in part because the porn star had ambitions of running for the U.S. Senate in her home state of Louisiana.

Times staff writer Patty Ryan contributed to this report.

Trump attorney brokered $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, report says 01/12/18 [Last modified: Friday, January 12, 2018 6:31pm]
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