USA

Trump: Porn star hush money was not from campaign

Donald Trump has said the money he paid to his personal lawyer to keep porn star Stormy Daniels quiet before the 2016 election did not come from his campaign but a "monthly retainer".

The US President said the non-disclosure agreement with the adult film actress "is in full force and effect" and was used to stop "the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair… despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair".

Mr Trump had previously said he was not aware of the hush money Daniels had received from his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, to buy her silence.

Daniels claims she had sex with Mr Trump in 2006, months after his third wife Melania gave birth to his youngest child Barron, who is now 12-years-old.

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Video:Giuliani's explosive admission

Daniels is suing Mr Cohen for defamation after he questioned her story about the alleged sexual encounter.

The 39-year-old – real name Stephanie Clifford – says she had unprotected sex with Mr Trump after he invited her to his hotel room, then pulled his trousers down.

She is seeking to be released from the $130,000 non-disclosure agreement she signed shortly before the 2016 presidential election to stay quiet about the alleged affair, with Mr Cohen having admitted to paying for it.

He said that Mr Trump was not part of the transaction and expressed doubt over Daniels's story, demanding that she "cease and desist".

Donald Trump said he didn't know about payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels 0:26
Video:April: Trump denies Daniels payment

Mr Trump's tweets on Thursday supported his new lawyer Rudy Giuliani's claim that the 71-year-old businessman reimbursed Mr Cohen for the payment to Daniels.

The US President tweeted: "These agreements are very common among celebrities and people of wealth."

He added: "Prior to its violation by Ms Clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction."

Former New York mayor Giuliani told Fox News' Hannity programme that Mr Trump's payment to Mr Cohen "is going to turn out to be perfectly legal" because "that money was not campaign money".

Stormy Daniels released a sketch of the man she claims threatened her in 2011 0:40
Video:Stormy describes 'threats' over Trump 'affair'

Asked if Mr Trump knew about the arrangement, Mr Giuliani said: "He didn't know about the specifics of it, as far as I know. But he did know about the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this, like I take care of things like this for my clients.

"I don't burden them with every single thing that comes along. These are busy people."

Daniels's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has said he is holding back further details of the alleged affair for strategic reasons, including the contents of a data disc he tweeted a picture of in March as a "warning shot" to the President.

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He described Mr Giuliani's comments on Wednesday as "a stunning revelation".

"Mr Trump evidently has participated in a felony and there must be serious consequences for his conduct and his lies and deception to the American people."

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