Newstalk
Newstalk

09.04 17 May 2018


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US President Donald Trump has officially disclosed reimbursing his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who paid a porn star 'hush money' over her claims of an affair with Mr Trump.

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) found that Mr Trump ought to have revealed the payment in his previous financial disclosure.

This year's report shows Trump paid Mr Cohen more than $100,000 for expenses incurred in 2016, although it does not specify the purpose of the reimbursement.

The disclosures report states: "Mr Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr Trump fully reimbursed Mr Cohen in 2017. The category of value would be $100,001 - $250,000 and the interest rate would be zero."

Mr Trump has previously denied knowing of any payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, and also denies the alleged affair.

The ethics office had received a complaint, calling on it to investigate whether the payment to Mr Cohen should have been reported as a liability on President Trump's financial disclosure report for 2016.

In a letter to the US Department of Justice, OGE acting director David J Apol said: "OGE has concluded that, based on the information provided as a note to part 8, the payment made by Mr Cohen is required to be reported as a liability.

"OGE has determined that the information provided in that note meets the disclosure requirements for a reportable liability under the Ethics in Government Act."

Earlier this month, Rudy Giuliani - the former Mayor of New York who recently joined President Trump's legal team - revealed in a TV interview that Trump reimbursed Mr Cohen for a $130,000 payment used to keep Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, quiet about an alleged affair in 2006.

President Trump has insisted no campaign money was used to reimburse Mr Cohen.

Ms Clifford, meanwhile, is seeking to be released from the $130,000 non-disclosure agreement she signed shortly before the 2016 presidential election to stay quiet about the alleged affair.


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