POLITICS
05/03/2018 10:36 am ET Updated May 03, 2018

George Conway Appears To Shut Down Rudy Giuliani's Claim About Stormy Daniels Payment

Trump's attorney says the $130,000 payment didn't violate campaign finance laws. Kellyanne Conway's husband seems to suggest otherwise.

George Conway, a high-profile attorney and the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, on Thursday appeared to once again question claims made by President Donald Trump’s legal team.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who recently joined Trump’s ever-evolving roster of attorneys, revealed Wednesday that Trump had reimbursed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star who goes by her stage name Stormy Daniels.

Legal experts have argued that Cohen’s hefty payment to Daniels to silence her about her alleged affair with Trump may have violated campaign finance laws since it was meant to quash negative media coverage about Trump in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

Giuliani said Wednesday such a violation never occurred because Trump used his own money to reimburse Cohen. But Conway seemed to suggest otherwise.

Conway’s tweet links to a page on the Federal Election Commission’s website that explains how and when personal gifts and loans to candidates violate campaign finance laws.

According to the passage highlighted in Conway’s tweet:

If any person, including a relative or friend of the candidate, gives or loans the candidate money “for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office,” the funds are not considered personal funds of the candidate even if they are given to the candidate directly. Instead, the gift or loan is considered a contribution from the donor to the campaign, subject to the per-election limit and reportable by the campaign. This is true even if the candidate uses the funds for personal living expenses while campaigning.

Since Cohen loaned Trump the money when he paid Daniels ― even if Trump reimbursed him over time ― campaign finance laws may still have been violated.

Conway also retweeted several posts mocking Giuliani’s admission about the alleged reimbursement, including tweets from Politico’s Emily Stephenson and The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker. 

Conway has repeatedly shared tweets critical of Trump to the bewilderment of many political and media pundits. Kellyanne Conway tore into CNN’s Dana Bash last month after the TV host asked about her husband’s Trump-trolling tweets.

“It’s fascinating to me that CNN would go there,” the White House counselor said. “But it’s very good for the whole world to just witness that it’s now fair game how people’s spouses and significant others may differ with them.”

“You just brought him into this,” she continued. “We’re now going to talk about other people’s spouses and significant others just because they either work at the White House or CNN? ... CNN just went there.”

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