The lawyer for porn actress Stephanie Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, said Friday that it is “laughable,” “absurd” and “an insult to the American people” to suggest that President Donald Trump didn’t know about the hush money she was paid through Trump’s personal lawyer in 2016.
Clifford’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, suggested to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday that Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen is lying when he claims that Trump did not know about the $130,000 Cohen paid Clifford in the “waning days of the 2016 presidential election.” He claimed he and Clifford have “evidence” that will prove that Trump was aware of the arrangement.
“Mr. Cohen wants people to believe that he ran off, half-cocked, negotiated a very detailed agreement, with a signature line for his client, arranged this payment, made this payment in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election and all the time his client was in the dark and Mr. Trump knew nothing about it,” Avenatti said Friday. “It is laughable. It’s absurd and the mere suggestion is an insult to the American people.”
Clifford, who reportedly had an affair with Trump in 2006, recently filed a lawsuit against Trump for not signing the non-disclosure agreement that she signed in 2016. According to The Wall Street Journal, the agreement, along with a $130,000 payment from Cohen, was reportedly supposed to block Clifford from discussing the affair, but Clifford and her attorney argue the agreement is null because Trump never signed it.
Cohen has claimed that the payment was made by his own volition and Trump knew nothing about it. The White House on Wednesday acknowledged that Trump’s lawyers had “won” arbitration relevant to the case in Trump’s favor, which was likely referencing a restraining order Cohen secretly filed against Clifford, NBC was first to report. Trump was reportedly unhappy with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for how she handled questions about the allegations.
Avenatti said he and Clifford just want the “facts to come to light” and the non-disclosure agreement to be voided so that Clifford can share her side of the story.
“When that evidence and those facts come to light, the American people are going to conclude that attorney Cohen and the White House have not shot straight with them on this issue,” he said. “We want her to have her day to speak openly and honestly. We want the truth to be known, let the chips fall where they may.”
Clifford has consistently denied the affair, but in interviews, she has made cryptic comments in response to questions about the allegations. Clifford reportedly took a lie detector test and shared the details of the affair with In Touch Magazine in 2011. The transcript of that interview was published last year, revealing intimate details of her relationship with then-private citizen Trump.