Responding to questions about the $130,000 payment that President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer gave Stormy Daniels to reportedly keep her quiet about an affair, White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah on Monday said there was nothing unusual about the sum, claiming “false charges are settled outside of court all the time.”
“You can have (Trump’s attorney) Michael Cohen address any specifics regarding this agreement you are referring to, but false charges are settled outside of court all the time and this is nothing outside the ordinary,” Shah said.
When pressed specifically about what the $130,000 case had to do with false claims, Shah repeated the line again, pinning the payment on Cohen.
Shah’s response on Monday was the first acknowledgment the White House has given of the payment, which Cohen has admitted he made. Cohen claims he paid Daniels the money out of his own volition, not on behalf of Trump. Trump has denied the affair ever happened.
Daniels has said the payment and the non-disclosure agreement she felt pressured to sign were part of a plan to keep her silent about the affair. The agreement was signed in the days leading up to the 2016 election.
Questions over the payment come after Daniels gave an interview to “60 Minutes” on Sunday, in which Daniels detailed the alleged sexual affair and claimed she was threatened in the past by someone affiliated with the Trump organization to keep quiet about the relationship. Daniels has sued Trump in recent weeks because he did not sign the non-disclosure agreement and claims the whole NDA is void.
"False charges are settled out of court all the time. This is nothing outside the ordinary," Deputy Press Sec. Raj Shah says of Stormy Daniels settlement. pic.twitter.com/5bdHlDpNC9
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 26, 2018