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Trump lawyer paid porn star $130k in hush money: Report

The payment, one month before the election, was for her not to disclose an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.
Trump lawyer Michael Cohen
Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. (Photo: Getty Images)

A lawyer for Donald Trump paid a former porn star $130,000 one month before the 2016 election to keep quiet about a sexual encounter she had with the future president, the "Wall Street Journal" reported Friday.

Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen authorized the payment in October 2016 to Stephanie Clifford — a.k.a. X-rated cinema's Stormy Daniels — after her attorney negotiated a nondisclosure agreement. Clifford alleged that she had an encounter with Trump after they met at a July 2006 celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. 

“These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election,” said a White House official that the "Journal" didn't name, in response to the allegation that Trump and Clifford had a sexual encounter. That official didn't answer questions about an agreement, and it's unclear whether Trump knew about any agreement or payment involving Clifford.

Addressing a sexual encounter between Trump and Clifford, Cohen said, “President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.” He didn’t address the $130,000 payment. Cohen later sent the paper an email statement, signed by "Stormy Daniels," denying a "sexual and/or romantic affair" with Trump. “Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false,” the statement read.

In the fall of 2016, the "Journal" reported that Clifford was in talks to appear on "Good Morning America" and that the National Enquirer paid a former Playboy centerfold $150,000 for a story about her affair with the president a decade earlier. The story never ran.

Another porn star, Jessica Drake, said in October 2016 that Trump had kissed her and two other women without permission after the same golf event in Clifford's allegation.

At the time of the alleged encounter, Clifford, a.k.a. Daniels, was one of the biggest stars in the porn industry. Ultimately, she starred in more than 150 films, including "Good Will Humping," "Asscar," "Betty Cocker" and "Saturday Night Beaver." 

Cohen has surfaced in a Trump-related controversy before. The attorney, who worked for the Trump Organization for ten years and is now in private practice representing the president, reached out to the Kremlin for help in building a potential Trump Tower Moscow several months into Trump's presidential campaign, emails provided to the House Intelligence Committee showed. Cohen said he discussed the project with Trump three times. That contradicts Trump's frequent assertions that he had no business dealings with Russia.