Resurfaced clip from Trump interview seems to undermine his Stormy Daniels defence

Resurfaced clip from Trump interview seems to undermine his Stormy Daniels defence

An interview with then-President Donald Trump recorded in 2018 appears to undermine his defence in the Stormy Daniels hush money case.

“They weren’t taken out of campaign finance – that’s a big thing,” Mr Trump said at the time, regarding the money paid to the porn actor for her to remain silent about an affair she claims they had in 2006.

The $130,000 payment was made by then-Trump fixer Michael Cohen in the final days of the 2016 campaign. Cohen later spent time behind bars as a result of charges that stemmed from the payment.

“They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me,” Mr Trump said in 2018 during the interview at the White House.

Cohen was reimbursed for the funds, which were logged as a legal fee in the Trump business records.

The Manhattan District Attorney is now investigating if Mr Trump falsified business records.

Lawyer Ron Filipkowski shared the clip on Twitter.

“Seems like Trump’s story has changed since 2018 when he was asked about the payments in the Stormy case,” he said.

“At the time of this interview, he was only worried about federal campaign finance violations. He thought he was in the clear with state law. So back then he emphasized he reimbursed with his money, not campaign money. Problem is that doesn’t work now,” he added.

The watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington wrote: “Well, here’s Donald Trump saying he used his personal money for the Stormy Daniels payment, which kept it off his campaign finance reports. He may regret this interview now.”

Another resurfaced video from 2018 shows former New York City Mayor and Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani blowing apart the former president’s supposed new evidence in the case.

Mr Giuliani complicated Mr Trump’s defence in May of that year when he appeared on Fox News seeming to admit that Mr Trump was aware of the payments to women who claimed that they had had affairs with him.

He said at the time that Mr Trump “did know the general arrangement” and that Cohen was reimbursed for paying off Stormy Daniels with funds being “funnelled” through a law firm. Cohen is now one of his former boss’ staunchest critics.

Mr Trump rejected this notion at the time, saying that Mr Giuliani “started yesterday. He’ll get his facts straight”.

“I’d like to call, as a surprise witness for the prosecution, 2018 Rudy Giuliani, who BURIES Trump’s defense,” Mr Filipkowski tweeted.

“They funnelled it through a law firm, then the president repaid it,” Mr Giuliani said at the time. “When I heard Cohen’s retainer while he was doing no work, I said, ‘that’s how (Trump’s) repaying it.’”

Mr Trump is now arguing that a 2018 letter from Cohen’s lawyer, which didn’t stop Cohen from being charged for making illegal campaign contributions to the 2016 Trump campaign, shows that he’s not guilty in connection to the Manhattan DA’s investigation into those same payments.

Mr Trump took to Truth Social to share the letter from February 2018, which Cohen’s lawyer at the time sent to the Federal Election Commission, saying that Cohen using a $130,000 Home Equity Line of Credit to pay Ms Daniels, a porn actor, to remain silent regarding a 2006 affair she claims to have had with Mr Trump was a “private transaction” using Cohen’s “own money”.

Ms Daniels’s real name is Stephanie Clifford.

“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed Mr Cohen for the payment directly or indirectly,” lawyer Stephen Ryan wrote at the time.

Mr Trump said the letter was “totally exculpatory” and that the DA probe “must end”.

But the Department of Justice did indict Cohen, meaning the letter wasn’t “exculpatory” in the end, as Mr Trump claims.

Cohen was indicted for making an illegal campaign contribution and conspiring to violate campaign finance laws. He said in court that he made the payment on Mr Trump’s behalf and on his instruction.

The former fixer has shared evidence showing that Mr Trump and his firm paid him back, meaning that it wasn’t a “private transaction”.