- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 22, 2018

President Trump denied on Wednesday that campaign funds were used for hush money payments.

During a one-on-one interview with Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt, Mr. Trump discussed the payment by his former attorney Michael Cohen to cover up affair allegations. The president said he knew about the money “later on.”

“They didn’t come out of the campaign. They came from me,” Mr. Trump said.

He explained that he tweeted about the payments, and made sure to ask if campaign funds were used because “that could be a little dicey.”

Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, bank fraud and tax evasion on Tuesday in connection to the cover-up payments.

Earlier on Wednesday, the president said via Twitter that breaking campaign finance laws isn’t a criminal act. He repeated the argument during his interview.

“It’s not even a campaign violation,” Mr. Trump said, “If you look at President Obama he has a massive campaign violation, but he had a different attorney general and they viewed it a lot differently.”

The full interview will air on Thursday on “Fox and Friends.”

According to the Federal Election Commission, funds must pass an “irrespective test” to determine if an expense is personal or for the campaign.

Essentially, if the candidate would have to pay a given expense regardless if he or she were running for office, then it would be considered personal use.

It is unclear if Mr. Trump’s claim would meet that requirement.

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