According to Vox, in April 2018 President Donald Trump responded “no” to the question, “Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?” Daniels, a porn actress, was paid just before the 2016 presidential election so she would not speak about her affair with Trump.
On Wednesday during his testimony before the House Oversight Committee, Michael Cohen claimed that Trump was lying when he answered “no” to the reporter’s question, and he has proof.
Cohen gave Congress a copy of a check from August 2017 for $35,000 signed by Trump. Cohen claimed that the check was given to Cohen to partially reimburse the $130,000 payment Cohen made to Daniels through a shell company in October 2016.
“I am providing a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank account on August 1 of 2017 — when he was president of the United States — pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me — the word used by Mr. Trump’s TV lawyer — for the illegal hush money I paid on his behalf,” Cohen said. “This $35,000 check was one of 11 check installments that was paid throughout the year, while he was president.”
Cohen also provided a check from March 2017 for the same amount, this time signed by Allen Weisselberg, the COO of the Trump Organization. Cohen said the plan to reimburse him in smaller payments over a year was employed to “make it look like a retainer.”
“The goal was to keep him far away from it,” Cohen said.
In February 2017, when Cohen visited the White House for the first time after Trump’s inauguration, Cohen testified that the president told him “something to the effect of, ‘Don’t worry, Michael, reimbursement checks are coming.’”
According to Cohen, Trump called him to create a cover story about the payment for Daniels in February 2018 a month after the news about the payment was released by the Wall Street Journal. Trump’s call to Cohen also came two months before Trump denied knowing anything about the payments in the video taken at Air Force One.
Cohen pleaded guilty to felonies related to his payments to Daniels and to Karen McDougal, another woman who claimed to have had an affair with Trump.