UPDATE: Republican Rep. Charlie Dent calls for Congressional hearings into the Stormy Daniels payout.
On Wednesday night, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani talked with Sean Hannity of Fox News in his new role as an attorney for President Trump and dropped an entirely new bombshell. Giuliani made instant headlines around the world when he said that Trump had repaid attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment the latter made in an effort to silence porn star Stormy Daniels, which is totally not what Trump has said himself.
Here’s CNN recapping a wild evening:
Giuliani’s statement — to Fox News’ Sean Hannity — contradicted Trump, who previously denied knowledge of the payment, which has since spurred a lawsuit against the President.
Later, Giuliani told The Washington Post he had spoken to the President far in advance about publicly discussing the reimbursement, and said he doesn’t expect to be fired. He said his remarks on Hannity were approved by Trump.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal after the Fox News interview aired, Giuliani said again that Trump had paid Cohen back, but argued that it was not a campaign finance violation or a crime of any kind.
Alright, so that was plenty weird. Today, President Trump took it up a notch. From the Washington Post:
President Trump said Thursday that his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen was reimbursed through a monthly retainer for a $130,000 payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 to stop what Trump called “false and extortionist accusations” about a decade-old affair.
In morning tweets, the president confirmed that Cohen entered into a nondisclosure agreement with Daniels, something Trump called “very common among celebrities and people of wealth.”
Trump stressed that no campaign money was used to reimburse Cohen, calling it a “private agreement.”
“Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll [sic] in this transaction,” he wrote.
As Politico reports this morning, the White House is scrambling to figure out how to cover for Giuliani’s comments — which also included another damning statement about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. From NBC News:
But that wasn’t the only unforced error that Giuliani made last night. He also claimed that Trump fired James Comey because the former FBI director refused to say that Trump wasn’t a target of the investigation — not because of Russia (as Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt) or because of Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation (as the Justice Department explained).
“He fired Comey because Comey would not, among to other things, say that he wasn’t a target of the investigation,” Giuliani said on Fox last night. “He’s entitled to that. Hillary Clinton got that. And he couldn’t get that. So he fired him. And then he said, ‘I’m free of this guys.’”
So Trump’s new attorney — Giuliani — is saying that the president fired Comey because he wanted the FBI to clear him when in fact the president is a “subject” of the Russia probe even if he’s not currently a target?
This can’t possibly end well.