President Donald Trump confirmed to Fox & Friends Thursday that his attorney Michael Cohen, whose offices were recently raided by the Justice Department, represented him during the attorney's dealings with adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Cohen has admitted to paying Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, a $130,000 hush payment in connection with an alleged affair Daniels had with Trump in 2006. Cohen's lawyer has previously said Trump "was not aware of the agreement. At least Michael Cohen never told him about the agreement.” Trump has denied the affair. He also told reporters earlier this month he had no knowledge of the payment.
The president did not clarify whether he knew about the agreement at the time. He distanced himself from Cohen on Thursday, saying Cohen represented him in just "a tiny, tiny little fraction" of his overall legal work. But he did say Cohen represented him on "this crazy Stormy Daniels deal."
"He would represent me and represent me on some things, he represents me, like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me," Trump said. "From what I see, he did absolutely nothing wrong."
Trump praised Cohen, while saying that the raid of Cohen's offices were related to unspecified "business" that Cohen had outside of his legal work for Trump.
"Michael is a good person. Let me just tell you, Michael is in business. He's really a businessman, a fairly big business as I understand it, I don't know his business. But This doesn't have to do with me," Trump said. "Michael is a businessman. He's got a business. He also practices law. I would say probably the big thing is his business, and they're looking at something having to do with his business. I have nothing to do with his business."
Daniels's lawyer Michael Avenatti reacted to Trump's admission on MSNBC's Morning Joe.
"It's a hugely damaging admission by the president, because according to what he said on Air Force One a few weeks ago, he didn't know anything about the agreement, he didn't know anything about the payment, Michael Cohen went off and did this on a lark and Mr. Trump knew nothing about it," Avenatti said. "We now find out that that's bogus."
Avenatti went onto describe Trump's comments as "another gift from the heavens in this case."
"They keep coming," Avenatti said. "I don't know how I've fallen into such good luck in this case, but I'm going to take it."
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