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Trump's Lawyer Allegedly Paid Hush Money to Adult-Film Star

In October of 2016, President Donald Trump's lawyer arranged a payment of $130,000 to former adult-film star Stephanie Clifford, the Wall Street Journal reports. The payment was part of an agreement that Clifford, who performed under the name Stormy Daniels, would refrain from making public comment about an alleged sexual encounter she had with Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in 2006, according to the Journal.

The lawyer who arranged the payment, Michael Cohen, worked as the head attorney for the Trump Organization from 2007 until after the election, and has stated that he continues to act as Trump's personal attorney. Cohen negotiated the payment with Clifford's attorney.

Evidence of this payment adds to the Journal's 2016 story reporting that the National Enquirer's parent company was planning to pay $150,000 to another woman, a former Playboy model, for her story about an affair with Trump, and that Clifford was in discussion with ABC about coming on Good Morning America to discuss Trump. The National Enquirer story was never published, and Clifford never appeared on Good Morning America.

In apparent response to the Journal's reporting, Cohen released a statement denying Trump's sexual involvement with Clifford. "President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels," Cohen said. Cohen also emailed the Journal a statement—apparently signed by "Stormy Daniels"—denying any sexual involvement with Trump or the receipt of any hush money.

No one has claimed that the alleged sexual encounter between Clifford and Trump was non-consensual (unlike several other claims that have been made against Trump), though Trump would have been married to Melania at the time.