Donald Trump knew of hush payments to Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal

Blanche Robertson
November 10, 2018

"He told federal prosecutors he conferred with Mr. Trump in the weeks before the 2016 election about paying Stephanie Clifford, the former adult-film star known professionally as Stormy Daniels, to keep quiet about her allegations of a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump", the WSJ reports.

"The Wall Street Journal found that Mr. Trump was involved in or briefed on almost every step of the agreements".

The president has repeatedly denied playing any role in hush-money payments to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and the former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

"This report from The Wall Street Journal is a really big deal because it raises the possibility that President Trump may have violated federal campaign finance laws", Fisher said.

The Wall Street Journal found that Mr. Trump was involved in or briefed on almost every step of the agreements. But the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan has gathered evidence that Trump was involved in the transactions, The Journal reported. In August, Cohen told a federal judge in NY the payments were made at the direction of "the candidate", implying it was Mr. Trump's decision to pay the women. However, the WSJ found he was involved "on almost every step of the agreements" - in the form of phone calls and meetings with his former lawyer and "fixer", Michael Cohen.

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The WSJ report begins with details of a 2015 meeting arranged by Cohen at Trump Tower between Trump, then a presidential candidate, and longtime friend and media executive David Pecker. Ms. McDougal was paid $150,000 for the rights to her story from the publisher of the National Enquirer, but the story was never published.

Neither the White House nor Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lawyer, immediately responded to a request for comment from Business Insider. All contributions to a candidates' campaign for president must be reported as such.

Avenatti also called for Trump's "immediate indictment".

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