THE NA­TION Re­port: Porn star got paid

$130,000 be­fore elec­tion was to keep woman quiet about al­leged af­fair

The Washington Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOSH DAWSEY

A lawyer for then-can­di­date Don­ald Trump al­legedly made a $130,000 hush-money pay­ment in the weeks be­fore the 2016 elec­tion, the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported.

An adult-film star was paid $130,000 by a lawyer for Don­ald Trump in the weeks be­fore the 2016 elec­tion to not talk pub­licly about a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with the then-Repub­li­can can­di­date, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in the Wall Street Jour­nal.

The lawyer, Michael Co­hen, al­legedly paid Stephanie Clif­ford to re­main silent about an en­counter at Lake Ta­hoe in 2006, a year af­ter Trump mar­ried his third wife, Me­la­nia, ac­cord­ing to the Jour­nal. The Jour­nal said the pay­ment was made to a client-trust ac­count at City Na­tional Bank in Los An­ge­les.

The Wash­ing­ton Post was not able to in­de­pen­dently con­firm the pay­ment and was not able to reach the bank.

“Th­ese ru­mors have cir­cu­lated time and again since 2011. Pres­i­dent Trump once again ve­he­mently de­nies any such oc­cur­rence, as has Ms. Daniels,” Co­hen said to The Post. Co­hen also is­sued a state­ment that he said was from Clif­ford, whose pro­fes­sional name is Stormy Daniels.

“Ru­mors that I have re­ceived hush money from Don­ald Trump are com­pletely false,” reads the state­ment, signed by Stormy Daniels. “If in­deed I did have a re­la­tion­ship with Don­ald Trump, trust me, you wouldn’t be read­ing about it in the news, you would be read­ing about it in my book.”

Co­hen has called him­self Trump’s “fix-it man” and has be­come part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 elec­tion for his emails to Rus­sian of­fi­cials about a busi­ness project there, in­clud­ing a note to Vladimir Putin’s spokesman.

Clif­ford could not be reached for com­ment. Her part­ner, Glen­don Crain, did not re­spond to mes­sages. Keith David­son, a lawyer that the Jour­nal said was rep­re­sent­ing Clif­ford, did not re­spond to emails and phone calls seek­ing com­ment.

A White House of­fi­cial said that “th­ese are old, re­cy­cled re­ports, which were pub­lished and strongly de­nied prior to the elec­tion.” The of­fi­cial did not specif­i­cally re­spond to the al­le­ga­tion of a pay­off to Clif­ford.

In the days be­fore the 2016 elec­tion, the Jour­nal re­ported that Clif­ford was in talks with ABC’s “Good Morn­ing Amer­ica” to air her story about Trump. That re­port came days af­ter The Wash­ing­ton Post re­leased a video from a 2005 “Ac­cess Hol­ly­wood” record­ing in which Trump said he could grab women by the gen­i­tals be­cause he was fa­mous.

The Jour­nal also re­ported in 2016 that the Na­tional En­quirer — a pub­li­ca­tion owned by a close friend of Trump — paid Play­boy model Karen McDou­gal $150,000 for her story about an af­fair with Trump but never pub­lished it.

Clif­ford, a na­tive of Louisiana, con­sid­ered run­ning against then-U.S. Sen. David Vit­ter (R) in 2010 but de­cided against it.

Her mother, Sheila Weimer, said she hasn’t spo­ken to Clif­ford in 12 years and had no idea whether her daugh­ter had made a le­gal set­tle­ment or had a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with Trump.

“I don’t have her phone num­ber. I don’t have a way to get in touch with her,” Weimer said. She said her daugh­ter “grew up and went her own merry way.”

Weimer said she did not know her daugh­ter was also known as Stormy or had starred in adult films. But she had praise for Trump. “I love Trump. I think he’s great,” Weimer said. “I think he’s mak­ing a lot of good progress for our coun­try.”

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