US President Donald Trump today acknowledged that he paid his personal attorney Michael Cohen as much as United States dollars 250,000 as reimbursements for election-related expenses, apparently including a USD 130,000 payment given to adult film star Stormy Daniels who alleges she had an affair with the then presidential candidate.
The disclosures, released by the U.S. government ethics body, do not specify the reason for the payments to Michael Cohen, who paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election.
Daniels claims she had an affair with Trump.
"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", Cohen said in a statement to the New York Times.
Cohen founded Essential Consultants in October 2016 to make a $130,000 payment to Daniels.
Trump repaid Michel Cohen for "expenses" ranging from $100,001 to $250,000.
"In 2016, expenses were incurred by one of Donald J. Trump's attorneys, Michael Cohen", read a footnote on the form, which was released by the Office of Government Ethics.
The leaker said they knew the risks, and "To say that I am terrified right now would be an understatement".
The Trump Organisation referred questions about the disclosure report to the president's lawyer Sheri Dillon of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. We've recently learned Cohen was subsequently reimbursed by Trump.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment to clarify the reason for Mr Trump's payment to Mr Cohen.
The document, which covers calendar year 2017, showed total income from Trump's business operations and investments of at least $453 million and assets valued at a minimum of $1.4 billion. His Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, received $25 million, and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, generated $15 million.
But Giuliani said in early May that the president had indeed repaid Cohen.
Trump's income from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which has come under scrutiny for being a top choice for foreign dignitaries, almost doubled, from about $20 million in the 2016 report to just over $40 million previous year.
Other properties have not fared as well, including Trump National Doral, a golf resort near Miami, which is Trump's biggest cash flow generator.
The debt figures are given in broad ranges in the report and capped at $50 million, so it's unclear just how much Trump actually owes.
Frank alleges Avenatti pulled a Trump in 2016 by refusing to hand over his firm's tax returns.
Before taking office, Trump said he shifted day-to-day control of his business to his sons, primarily Eric Trump. The document revealed that Cohen was paid by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, the telecommunications giant A.T. & T., and an investment firm with ties to the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.