- The Washington Times - Friday, May 4, 2018

Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani on Friday sought to clarify his earlier barrage of statements about President Trump’s reimbursements to a personal lawyer who paid hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

“These are my views: First, there is no campaign violation,” Mr. Giuliani said in a statement. “The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the president’s family. It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.”

In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Giuliani suggested there were political motivations for the payment because it occurred about two weeks before the presidential election in 2016.

Mr. Giuliani, who had said this week that Mr. Trump only learned the full details of the $130,000 payment about 10 days ago, said his “references to timing were not describing my understanding of the president’s knowledge, but instead, my understanding of these matters.”

Thirdly, Mr. Giuliani said in his written statement, “It is undisputed that the president’s dismissal of former Director [James] Comey — an inferior executive officer — was clearly within his Article II power.”

“Recent revelations about former Director Comey further confirm the wisdom of the president’s decision, which was plainly in the best interests of our nation,” Mr. Giuliani said.

Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for Mr. Trump, paid the porn actress in October 2016 to keep her quiet about allegations that she had a brief affair with Mr. Trump in 2006. The president said on April 5 that he didn’t know about the lawyer’s payment.

But on Thursday, both the president and Mr. Giuliani said that Mr. Trump reimbursed Mr. Cohen through regular retainer payments from the president’s personal funds, not campaign accounts.

On Friday morning, Mr. Trump said Mr. Giuliani is “learning the subject matter,” and was new in his role of defending the president.

“He wasn’t totally familiar with every — you know, with everything,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “We love Rudy, he’s a special guy. What he really understands is that this is a witch hunt.”

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