The Latest: Giuliani tries to clarify hush money comments

Rudy Giuliani
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

Rudy Giuliani, the newest member of President Donald Trump’s legal team, is attempting to clarify some of his remarks about payments to porn star Stormy Daniels to silence her allegations she had a tryst with Donald Trump.

The former New York City mayor released a statement Friday in which he again stressed his belief that the $130,000 payment made by Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen in 2016 to Daniels was not a campaign violation.

That is a judgment some legal experts have disputed.

Giuliani also stressed that payment to Daniels in October 2016 was made not because of the presidential campaign, but to “protect the President’s family” from a “false allegation.”

Earlier this week, Giuliani said Daniels’ allegations could have affected the campaign, saying: “Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.”

In his Friday statement Giuliani said that his “references to timing” were to his own “understanding of these matters.” He did not elaborate.

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10:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump insists he is not changing his story on a $130,000 hush payment that went to porn star Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election.

Trump denied knowledge of the payment to reporters last month, but his new attorney, Rudy Giuliani, revealed Wednesday that Trump had reimbursed personal attorney Michael Cohen for the money.

In a series of tweets Thursday, Trump acknowledged the reimbursement.

But Friday, Trump suggested that Giuliani didn’t have his facts straight.

Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One that “We’re not changing any stories.” He said, “take a look at what I said.”

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10:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the new addition to his legal team, Rudy Giuliani, will “get his facts straight.”

Trump, speaking to reporters Friday, suggested that Giuliani had misspoken about reimbursements to the president’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for payments to porn star Stormy Daniels as part of a nondisclosure agreement.

Trump said Giuliani “is a great guy but he just started a day ago.” He said the former New York City mayor is “learning the subject matter.”

The president added that “virtually everything” reported about the payments were wrong. He did not elaborate.

Giuliani said this week that Trump knew about Cohen’s 2016 payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels and that Trump had repaid Cohen through monthly retainers.

Trump had previously denied knowing about the payments.

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12:37 a.m.

President Donald Trump is insisting that his reimbursement of a 2016 hush payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels had nothing to do with his election campaign.

But the surprise revelation of the president’s payment clashed with his past statements, and has created new legal headaches and stunned many in the West Wing.

White House aides were blindsided when Trump’s recently added attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Wednesday night that the president had repaid Michael Cohen for $130,000 that was given to Daniels to keep her quiet before the 2016 election about her allegations of an affair with Trump. Giuliani’s revelation seemed to contradict Trump’s past statements.

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