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Stormy Daniels says of course her agreement was with Trump, not Michael Cohen

Daniels said "it would not have made sense" to make an agreement with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's company instead of Trump.
by Sarah Fitzpatrick and Tracy Connor /
2018 Adult Video News Awards - Arrivals
Adult film actress/director Stormy Daniels attends the 2018 Adult Video News Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Jan. 27, 2018 in Las Vegas.Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images

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Stormy Daniels says in a new court filing that she always believed Donald Trump was a party to her non-disclosure agreement and would not have accepted $130,000 in hush money if she knew he had not signed it.

Last week, aboard Air Force One, the president told reporters he was unaware of the money wired to the adult-film actress before the 2016 election that was intended to stop her from talking about an alleged affair with him a decade earlier.

Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, says the money came from his personal funds and that the agreement was between his company and Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.

But in a declaration filed Monday in federal court in Los Angeles, Clifford said that wasn't her understanding.

"Such an agreement would not have made sense for many reasons," she said in the filing.

"It was my understanding that Donald Trump was a party to the Settlement Agreement and that he was going to sign both documents," she said.

"In fact, that understanding continued even after I signed the documents. Until approximately February of this year, I was unaware that Mr. Trump did not sign the Settlement Agreement, and I had no idea that Mr. Trump would later claim that he was not a party to the Settlement Agreement.

"Had I known that Mr. Trump was not going to sign both documents or that he was going to later claim that he was not a party to the Settlement Agreement, I would have never signed either document nor would I have accepted the $130,000 payment."

Clifford's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, contends the 2016 agreement is void because Trump did not sign under the alias Avenatti says was used in the agreement. He is seeking to depose Trump.

Clifford filed suit in state court in California, asking a judge to declare the agreement unenforceable. Trump then moved the case to federal court, with an eye toward forcing it into private arbitration.

Clifford hasn't kept her silence while waiting for the courts to weigh in on the dispute. In an interview with 60 Minutes last month, she said she had sex with Trump after meeting him at a 2006 charity event and that in subsequent months, he promised to try to get her a slot on "The Apprentice."

She also said that in 2011 she was threatened in a Las Vegas parking garage by a man who told her, "Leave Trump alone," after she agreed to an interview with a celebrity magazine.

Avenatti said Clifford is now working with a forensic artist to create a sketch of the man who she says accosted her in the garage in hopes of learning his identity.

Lawyers for Cohen and Trump did not immediately respond to request for comment on Clifford's new declaration.

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