Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was still pedaling as fast as he could to bring his version of the Stormy Daniels payment saga in line with President Donald Trump’s — but he also insisted that the president was not angry with him. “He said he loves me,” Giuliani told The Washington Post.
Trump’s lead attorney told the Post in an interview Friday evening that he and the president had a long conversation about Giuliani’s surprise Stormy Daniels reveal on Fox News, adding: “We wanted to get everyone on the same page.”
Giuliani previously told Fox host Sean Hannity Wednesday that Trump reimbursed the $130,000 in payment that Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen gave to the adult film star. Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has maintained that she had an affair with Trump and that she was paid hush money. Trump has insisted in the past he knew nothing about the payment.
The president initially appeared to support Giuliani’s version of events in tweets Thursday, but then on Friday said Giuliani needed to get his facts straight.
Giuliani repeated to the Post an earlier statement he made Friday, emphasizing again that he was discussing on Fox News “my understanding of these matters,” and not what the president knew at the time.
To acknowledge that he had discussed the issue with the president and revealed details of that conversation on national TV could jeopardize attorney-client privilege with the president, the Post pointed out.
Giuliani insisted that he was informed about the payment from “co-counsel, from reading documents, from conversations I had.”
“It wasn’t all from talking to the president,” he added.
Giuliani also appeared to be saying that while Trump reimbursed Cohen for the payment to Daniels, he may have been unaware that he did so.
“I don’t think the president realized he paid him back for that specific thing until we made him aware of the paperwork” recently, he told NBC Friday. Giuliani said the president responded, “Oh my goodness, I guess that’s what it was for.”
He told the Post that the president reimbursed Cohen by paying him $35,000 a month in 2017 for legal work for the previous year. Giuliani called it a “straight-out bill,” explaining that if Trump didn’t pay it “every month, he paid it many months.”
“The monthly bill was paying down the expenditures . . . It was not a loan,” Giuliani added. “Some of it was for taxes, some of it was for incidental expenses. It covered things that might come up.”
Giuliani has said that the Daniels payment was not a campaign expenditure to make certain she didn’t talk — even though she was paid shortly before the presidential election and the alleged affair occurred in 2006. Giuliani said the money was paid to protect Trump’s family.