Cohen: Trump Directed Messaging About Hush Money One Year Into Presidency

TPM Illustration/ Getty Images

By February 2018, Trump had Stormy Daniels on his mind.

The president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified Wednesday at a House Oversight Committee hearing that Trump told him what to say regarding whether he was being reimbursed for a $130,000 hush money payment.

Cohen had told journalists that he wasn’t reimbursed for the payment by the Trump campaign or Trump organization, leaving out the president himself.

“The statement is not false,” Cohen said, in response to questions from Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA). “I purposefully left out Mr. Trump, individually, from that statement.”

After Rep. Hill pressed Cohen on why he phrased the statement to leave out the president, he replied: “Because that’s what was discussed to do between myself, Mr. Trump, and [Trump Org CFO] Alan Weisselberg.”

Separately, a Vanity Fair reporter wrote at the time that Cohen fielded a call from Trump during an interview. During the call, the reporter noted that the two may have been discussing messaging around the issue.

Cohen confirmed that during the hearing, saying Trump told him to state publicly
“that he was not knowledgeable of these reimbursements and that he wasn’t knowledgeable of my actions.”

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