Trump lawyer said to si­lence a porn ac­tress

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NATION - By Me­gan Twohey and Jim Ruten­berg

WASHINGTON >> A lawyer for Pres­i­dent

Don­ald Trump or­ches­trated a $130,000 pay­ment to a porno­graphic-film ac­tress in Oc­to­ber 2016 to pre­vent her from go­ing pub­lic with claims of a con­sen­sual sex­ual en­counter with Trump, The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported Fri­day.

The re­ported pay­ment came shortly be­fore the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and as the ac­tress, Stephanie Clif­ford, 38, was dis­cussing shar­ing her ac­count with ABC’s “Good Morn­ing Amer­ica” and the on­line mag­a­zine Slate, ac­cord­ing to in­ter­views, notes and text mes­sages re­viewed by The New York Times.

Ja­cob Weis­berg, edi­tor-inchief of the Slate Group, said Fri­day that in a se­ries of in­ter­views with Clif­ford in Au­gust and Oc­to­ber 2016, she told him she had an af­fair with Trump af­ter meet­ing him at a 2006 celebrity golf tour­na­ment. She told him that Michael D. Co­hen, a lawyer for Trump, had agreed dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign to pay her the $130,000 if she kept the re­la­tion­ship se­cret, Weis­berg said, adding that Clif­ford had told him she was tempted to go pub­lic be­cause the lawyer was late in mak­ing the pay­ment and she feared he might back out of their agree­ment.

Clif­ford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, for­warded Weis­berg a draft amend­ment to the orig­i­nal agree­ment in which the par­ties were re­ferred to by pseudonyms. Weis­berg shared it with the Times.

Ac­cord­ing to the draft, Clif­ford was re­ferred to as

“Peggy Peter­son” and was rep­re­sented by a lawyer named Keith David­son. On the other end of the ne­go­ti­a­tions were other par­ties re­ferred to as “David Den­ni­son” and “David Delu­cia.” Clif­ford promised to send Weis­berg the orig­i­nal pa­per­work. But shortly af­ter the text mes­sage ex­change, Clif­ford stopped re­spond­ing. Weis­berg said that his con­ver­sa­tions with the ac­tress were on the record but that he was not pre­pared to write the story without her con­sent.

In an email sent Fri­day to the Times, Co­hen did not ad­dress the $130,000 pay­ment, but said, “These ru­mors have cir­cu­lated time and again since 2011. Pres­i­dent Trump once again ve­he­mently de­nies any such oc­cur­rence as has Ms.

Daniels.”

Clif­ford could not be reached for com­ment. But Co­hen re­leased a state­ment dated Jan. 10 and signed by Clif­ford in which she said that her in­volve­ment with Trump was lim­ited to a few pub­lic ap­pear­ances and that al­le­ga­tions that “I had a sex­ual and/or ro­man­tic af­fair with Mr. Trump many, many, many years ago” were “com­pletely false.”

“Ru­mors that I have re­ceived hush money from Don­ald Trump are com­pletely false,” the state­ment said.

The White House is­sued a state­ment say­ing, “These are old, re­cy­cled re­ports, which were pub­lished and strongly de­nied prior to the elec­tion.”

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