Twists, turns and falsehoods of the Stormy Daniels scandal

President Donald Trump, his lawyers and his press secretary, have made contradictory statements about a US$130,000 payment to Ms Stephanie Clifford, a pornographic film actress known as Stormy Daniels.
President Donald Trump, his lawyers and his press secretary, have made contradictory statements about a US$130,000 payment to Ms Stephanie Clifford, a pornographic film actress known as Stormy Daniels.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump, his lawyers and his press secretary, while maintaining that there was no affair, have made contradictory statements about a US$130,000 (S$173,678) payment to Ms Stephanie Clifford, a pornographic film actress known as Stormy Daniels.

Here's a look at the contradictory statements on the scandal.

JAN 12

Mr Michael Cohen, on the alleged affair: "President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence."

In an e-mail sent to The New York Times after The Wall Street Journal reported about the payment, Mr Cohen, the president's longtime personal lawyer, did not address the payment but denied that Ms Clifford and Mr Trump had had an affair.

FEB 13

Mr Cohen: "I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of US$130,000 to Ms Stephanie Clifford."

In a statement to The New York Times, Mr Cohen acknowledged for the first time that he had a role in the payment, adding, "Neither the Trump Organisation nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly."

MARCH 7

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: "There was no knowledge of any payments from the President."

APRIL 5

President Trump: "No."

This was Mr Trump's response when he was asked by a reporter if he knew about the payment to Ms Clifford.

MAY 2

Mr Rudolph Giuliani: "The president repaid it."

Mr Giuliani, one of the President's lawyers, told Mr Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, that Mr Trump reimbursed Mr Cohen for the payment.

Mr Giuliani also referred to the payment as a "retainer".

 
 

The statement contradicted what Mr Cohen said about using his own money to pay Ms Clifford. It also contradicted Mr Trump's statement that he was not aware of the payment.

MAY 3

President Trump: "Mr Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer."

In a series of Twitter posts, Mr Trump said the money for Ms Clifford was paid out of a retainer, which appeared to contradict Mr Giuliani's initial description of a monthly reimbursement plan out of his personal family account.

President Trump: "Having nothing to do with the campaign."

The President also said that the money was in no way related to the campaign.

Mr Giuliani appeared to suggest that timing of the payment was connected to the contentious presidential election, contradicting Mr Trump's Twitter statements, as well as his own. NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2018, with the headline 'Twists, turns and falsehoods of the Stormy Daniels scandal'. Print Edition | Subscribe