For the first time since the story made international headlines, U.S. President Donald Trump publicly commented on his Stormy Daniels scandal. Up until recently, President Trump has remained silent on the issue, relying on his team to respond to reporters’ questions.
On Thursday, speaking to reporters on Air Force One, the president denied knowing anything about a $130,000 payment that his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to the porn star. He added that he didn’t know why Cohen made the payment and how he got the money in the first place.
“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael,” Trump said while returning from a visit to West Virginia to talk about his tax reform bill.
Daniels claims that she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and was paid to keep quiet and deny reports that she had a sexual encounter with him. It was part of a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) that she allegedly signed prior to the 2016 presidential election. Daniels and her legal team are attempting to invalidate the agreement.
Soon after the president’s comments, Michael Avenatti, her lawyer, issued a statement:
“Our case just got that much better. And we very much look forward to testing the truthfulness of Mr. Trump’s feigned lack of knowledge concerning the $130k payment as stated on Air Force One,” he said.
“It is one thing to deceive the press and quite another to do so under oath.”
We very much look forward to testing the truthfulness of Mr. Trump’s feigned lack of knowledge concerning the $130k payment as stated on Air Force One. As history teaches us, it is one thing to deceive the press and quite another to do so under oath. #searchforthetruth #basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 5, 2018
Avenatti also spoke on MSNBC, arguing that Trump’s comments could produce legal trouble.
“If the president didn’t know anything about the payment, then he obviously didn’t know anything about the agreement, in which case you can’t have an agreement. And then there is no such thing as an NDA,” the attorney explained.
Michael Cohen has not released a statement to the press on his client’s latest remarks.
Trump Talks Amazon, EPA, Border
The president also spoke to the press about a wide array of issues.
On Amazon, he targeted the online retail behemoth, contending that other retailers do not have a level playing field with Amazon and the environment needs to change. He added that the Supreme Court will soon determine if all Amazon transactions will be subject to a state sales tax.
On the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), President Trump said EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is “doing a great job.” Despite several damaging reports related to Pruitt’s past and conduct, Trump seems satisfied so far.
On the border issue, the president revealed that he plans to send as many as 4,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. He did not provide any other specifics and could not cite a figure as to the cost of the proposal.