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Report: Trump lawyer brokered $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels

/ Source: Associated Press
Image: Stormy Daniels
Porn star Stormy Daniels, who says she plans to make a serious run against incumbent U.S. Sen. David Vitter, talks with the media outside of the Southfield Grill on July 3, 2009 in Shreveport, La. Daniels was told by restaurant managers that she could eat at the establishment, but that she could not speak to customers. Media was also not allowed inside.Greg Pearson / The Shreveport Times via AP

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's personal lawyer brokered a $130,000 payment to a porn actress to prevent her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, according to a report Friday in The Wall Street Journal.

Trump met Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the name Stormy Daniels in films, at a golf event in 2006 — a year after Trump's marriage to his wife, Melania. According to the Journal's report, Clifford began talking with ABC News in the fall of 2016 for a story involving an alleged relationship with Trump, but reached a $130,000 deal a month before the election, which prevented her from going public.

Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen arranged for the payment through Clifford's lawyer, Keith Davidson, the Journal reported.

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Clifford had also been in discussions with the online magazine Slate, The New York Times reported Friday. Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of the Slate Group, told the Times that Clifford had told him she had an affair with Trump.

In a statement to the Journal, Cohen did not address his role in negotiating the supposed payment but said Trump denies any such relationship with Clifford. Clifford has previously denied an alleged relationship with Trump. Cohen also sent the Journal a statement — signed by "Stormy Daniels" — in which the actress denied receiving "hush money" from Trump.

On Friday afternoon, the White House issued a statement calling the Journal's story "old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election."

Cohen also accused the Journal of perpetuating "a false narrative for over a year."

NBC News could not independently confirm the reports. In a statement to NBC News, Cohen said: “These rumors have circulated time and again since 2011. President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.”

Just days before the 2016 election, the Journal published a story stating that the National Enquirer — run by David Pecker, a fervid supporter of Trump — had paid $150,000 to silence former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal about a sexual relationship she allegedly had with Trump a decade ago.

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