Jeremy Hunt to hold talks with Donald Trump's staff as White House reels from Stormy Daniels payment

Jeremy Hunt to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo amid growing crisis over Cohen and Manafort trials (Reuters)

Jeremy Hunt is expected to host talks with senior Trump administration figures as the White House reels from a court case which implicated the president in criminal behaviour over hush money payments to a porn star.

The Foreign Secretary is set to meet secretary of state Mike Pompeo in Washington.

The meeting comes the day after Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen admitted making payments to two women “at the direction” of the president.

Hunt is also due to meet chief of staff John Kelly and adviser Jared Kushner, amid the backlash from Cohen’s guilty plea to charges including campaign finance fraud stemming from money given to adult actress Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Hunt finds himself inadvertently in the middle of a US political storm on the second day of a three-day trip to the United States, his first since replacing Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary.

President Donald Trump pauses while speaking during a rally Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Deputy US attorney Robert Khuzami told reporters after Cohen’s guilty plea that he submitted invoices to the candidate’s firm to obtain reimbursement for the unlawful campaign contributions.

Cohen’s lawyer’s admission came almost simultaneously with the conviction of Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort for fraud offences.

The crimes pre-dated his time as head of Trump’s 2016 White House campaign, although they were prosecuted as part of an investigation into Russian meddling in the election.

Led by special counsel Robert Mueller, the probe is investigating allegations that associates of Trump colluded with Russian figures to influence the vote.

On Tuesday Trump renewed his attack on the investigation, calling it a “witch hunt” and Manafort’s conviction a “disgrace”.

Spectre of impeachment looms after Donald Trump’s ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen admits paying porn star Stormy Daniels

Mueller’s probe has sought the extradition of 13 Russians indicted over interference in the 2016 election, while Washington has imposed sanctions on the Kremlin.


Why lazy people might be less likely to face extinction, according to science
Predatory sex abuser, 67, jailed for committing 200 sex assaults on two victims
Trump facing ‘serious questions’ after ex-lawyer claims President ‘directed’ hush money
Scottish chip shop releases ‘Crunchy Box’ most unhealthy takeaway ever
Cruise passenger rescued after 10 hours at sea branded a ‘stupid woman’

Dozens of Russian diplomats were expelled from the US after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury that in July claimed the life of Dawn Sturgess.

In a speech delivered in Washington on Tuesday, Hunt called on the EU to maintain pressure on Russia and ensure “that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US”.

“That means calling out and responding to transgressions with one voice wherever and whenever they occur, from the streets of Salisbury to the heart of Crimea,” he said.

The Foreign Secretary will travel to New York on Thursday to address the United Nations Security Council on the work of the UK and the US to fight against Islamic State.

Hunt will also meet the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to discuss reform of the UN and humanitarian issues.