Trump Personally Directed His Son Eric, Michael Cohen to Silence Stormy Daniels

A new report indicates that Donald Trump personally involved himself in the effort to enforce the nondisclosure agreement that was meant to keep Stormy Daniels quiet about her alleged affair with the president.

Wall Street Journal says that in February, Trump tried to coordinate with his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in order to bring a restraining order against Daniels and force her legal compliance with Cohen’s hush money scheme. This news comes months after Cohen implicated Trump as being directly connected to the hush money payments, which were found to be in violation of campaign finance law.

According to WSJ, Trump knew that Daniels intended to speak about their alleged liaison, so he order Cohen to work with his son Eric Trump to coordinate a legal response. The president’s son also reportedly signed a statement denying that the Trump Organization had any formal involvement in the Daniels case.

“Mr. Trump told Mr. Cohen to coordinate the legal response with Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, and another outside lawyer who had represented Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization in other matters,” the report states. “Eric Trump, who is running the company with his brother in Mr. Trump’s absence, then tasked a Trump Organization staff attorney in California with signing off on the arbitration paperwork.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Rips Veteran Reporter Carl Bernstein as ‘Sloppy’ Over CNN Report: ‘Thinks Like a Degenerate Fool’

President Donald Trump tweeted tonight about the scrutiny surrounding CNN right now over Lanny Davis‘ backpedaling raising questions about their Trump Tower report from a few weeks ago.

To recap: the initial CNN report from Carl Bernstein, Jim Sciutto, and Marshall Cohen said that Michael Cohen was claiming President Donald Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting ahead of time. They cited multiple sources and said David, Cohen’s lawyer, declined to comment.

In recent days Davis has admitted to, behind the scenes, confirming the story when he didn’t know it for a fact. He also claimed to be one of CNN’s sources, something he didn’t mention when criticizing the reporting on CNN’s own air recently. CNN has made clear they are standing by their story, noting the report had more than one source.

Tonight Trump tore into not just CNN, but veteran reporter Bernstein in particular, calling him “sloppy” and a “degenerate fool”:

CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake. Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News.”

Earlier today Trump attacked the media for stories citing anonymous sources, saying, “The fact is that many anonymous sources don’t even exist. They are fiction made up by the Fake News reporters. Look at the lie that Fake CNN is now in. They got caught red handed! Enemy of the People!” and “When you see ‘anonymous source,’ stop reading the story, it is fiction!”

[Mediaite]

Trump blasts CNN over anonymous sourcing in Cohen report, hours after citing an anonymous source

President Donald Trump took aim Wednesday at CNN over information it reported last month that relied on anonymous sources, slamming all outlets that rely on such sources and labeling reports based on them “fiction made up by the Fake News reporters.”

Trump made specific reference to a CNN story published last month with the headline “Cohen claims Trump knew in advance of 2016 Trump Tower meeting,” a reference to a meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian attorney who had been billed as possessing damaging information about Hillary Clinton sourced from the Kremlin. That report attributed its information to unnamed “sources with knowledge.”

Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, has since told BuzzFeed that he was a source for the CNN article and has told The Washington Post that he is no longer sure about assertions he made to CNN and other outlets.

“The fact is that many anonymous sources don’t even exist. They are fiction made up by the Fake News reporters,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Look at the lie that Fake CNN is now in. They got caught red handed! Enemy of the People!”

“When you see ‘anonymous source,’ stop reading the story, it is fiction!” he added in a second post.

CNN, in a statement to BuzzFeed, said “we stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it.” The network said Davis was not the only source to confirm the information contained in the story. At the time of the report, CNN noted Cohen did not have evidence to back up his claim.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is deep into an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. The president has labeled Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt” and insists there was “no collusion.”

Davis made the rounds on the TV news circuit last week after Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal charges, including campaign finance violations, in a Manhattan court. Cohen pleaded guilty to making hush money payments to two women “at the direction of” a candidate for federal office, Trump.

While Trump has long complained about news outlets’ use of anonymous sources, the practice is common and accepted at news organizations across the country. Government officials, including at the White House, often ask to be quoted “on background,” meaning not by name, in order to speak candidly and protect their jobs and personal relationships.

[Politico]

Reality

Try googling “@realDonaldTrump extremely credible source“.

Trump blames Sessions for Cohen pleading guilty to campaign finance fraud in rambling Fox News interview

President Donald Trump on Wednesday pointed the finger at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not doing enough to stop his former “fixer” Michael Cohen from pleading guilty to campaign finance charges.

During an interview with Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt, Trump admitted that it would have been a little “dicey” had he ordered Cohen to make an illegal campaign contribution that would be hush money for women who allegedly had affairs with him.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday pointed the finger at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not doing enough to stop his former “fixer” Michael Cohen from pleading guilty to campaign finance charges.

During an interview with Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt, Trump admitted that it would have been a little “dicey” had he ordered Cohen to make an illegal campaign contribution that would be hush money for women who allegedly had affairs with him.

Unlike the allegations being levied against Trump, however, Obama was not found to have had any part in failing to report the donations, and the donations in question were not being used to pay out hush money to ex-mistresses.

Despite this, however, Trump said that the two cases were very similar — and then took a veiled shot at Sessions.

“He had a massive campaign violation,” Trump claimed. “But he had a different attorney general, and they viewed it a lot differently.”

[Raw Story]

Trump: Cohen’s hush-money payouts didn’t break campaign finance laws

President Trump on Wednesday insisted there was no violation of campaign finance laws when his longtime lawyer paid a porn star and Playboy centerfold hush money — and blamed his predicament on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Asked by “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt if he knew about the payments, Trump claimed he only found out about the payments made by admitted tax cheat Michael Cohen after the fact.

“Later on I knew. Later on. But you have to understand, Ainsley, what he did. And they weren’t taken out of campaign finance. That’s a big thing, that’s a much bigger thing,” the president said in a 50-second snippet of an interview that will air on the show Thursday morning beginning at 6 a.m.

“Did they come out of the campaign? They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me. I tweeted about it. You know, but I tweeted about the payments. But they didn’t come out of campaign,” the president said, suggesting that since his personal or his company’s money was involved, no laws were broken.

“In fact my first question, when I heard about it was did they come out of the campaign? Because that could be a little dicey and they didn’t come out of the campaign, and that’s big. But they weren’t. It’s not even a campaign violation,” he continued.

In the “Fox & Friends” clip, Trump also made an oblique reference to purported wrongdoing by former President Barack Obama.

“If you look at President Obama, he had a massive campaign violation, but they had a different attorney general and they viewed it a lot differently,” he said, an apparent reference to either Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch, Obama’s two attorneys general.

The feds fined Obama’s 2008 campaign for failing to expeditiously report last-minute contributions.

“It is, ethically and morally, entirely of a different character,” said Dan Petalas, former acting general counsel and head of enforcement at the Federal Election Commission.

Cohen on Tuesday pleaded guilty to a series of charges and said Trump had directed him to arrange the payments to influence the election.

Corporations are not permitted to contribute to campaigns, and money intended to influence an election must be reported.

[New York Post]

Media

Trump Blasts Cohen: ‘Flipping’ to Get a Plea Deal ‘Almost Ought to Be Illegal’

During his extensive interview with Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt, President Trump praised Paul Manafort while tearing Michael Cohenapart for implicating for implicating him in his campaign finance violations.

Even though Cohen’s secretly-record audio of Trump indicates that his ex-boss was involved in his 2016 hush money schemes, Trump insisted that he only found out about the payments “later on.” After complaining that this wasn’t a violation of campaign finance law because the money “came from me,” and he also said ” almost everybody that runs for office has campaign violations, but what Michael Cohen pled to weren’t even campaign related. They weren’t crimes.”

To that point, Earhardt asked him why Cohen accepted a plea deal with federal prosecutors if what he did wasn’t illegal. After saluting Manafort – who was found guilty in his trial this week – because he didn’t flip, Trump said that such deals like the one Cohen made shouldn’t be allowed.

“This whole thing about flipping, they call it. I know all about flipping, for 30, 40 years I have been watching flippers. Everything is wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed. It’s not fair, because if somebody going to spend five years like Michael Cohen or 10 of 15 years in jail because of a taxicab deal, because he defrauded some bank. Campaign violations are considered not a big deal, frankly. But if somebody defrauded a bank and he is going to get 10 years in jail or 20 years in jail but if you can say something bad about Donald Trump and you will go down to two years or three years, which is the deal he made, in all fairness to him, most people are going to do that. And I have seen it many times. I have had many friends involved in this stuff. It’s called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal. You get 10 years in jail. But if you say bad things about somebody, in other words make up stories, they just make up lies…They make up things and now they go from 10 years to they’re a national hero. They have a statue erected in their honor. It’s not a fair thing. But that’s why he did it. He made a very good deal. For what he did.”

[Mediaite]

Trump says he knew about hush payments ‘later on,’ contradicting audio

President Donald Trump said in an interview released Wednesday that he found out “later on” that his former personal attorney Michael Cohen paid two women to keep quiet about alleged affairs with Trump, contradicting Cohen’s statements in court a day earlier.

Cohen said in a statement while formally pleading guilty to fraud charges and campaign finance violations that he oversaw one payment to porn film actress Stormy Daniels and another to former Playboy model Karen McDougal “at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” widely understood to be Trump.

But when asked by “Fox & Friends” anchor Ainsley Earhardt in an interview, a clip of which was released Wednesday, whether he knew about the payments, Trump responded that “later on I knew … later on.”

Trump argued that, because the payments did not come from the campaign itself, there was no violation of campaign finance laws. He also told Earhardt he personally paid back Cohen, though prosecutors said Cohen was reimbursed by the Trump Organization.

“They didn’t come out of the campaign. In fact, my first question, when I heard about it, [was] ‘Did they come out of the campaign because that could be a little dicey,’” Trump said. “It is not even a campaign violation.”

Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis said in an interview on MSNBC that Trump was “misstating the law.”

“Donald Trump tweeted that it only is illegal if it’s campaign funds, not if it’s personal funds. That is completely false under the law,” Davis said.

“The interviewer didn’t say, wait a minute, Mr. President, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a campaign contribution, which you said is dicey, or whether you write a personal check,” he said. “The campaign limitations under the law apply the same.”

The documents describing the charges to which Cohen pleaded guilty say that he broke federal law by exceeding the limit of $2,700 for personal campaign contributions because the hush money was intended to influence the election.

[Politico]

Reality

Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt embarrassed herself and her network in the mother of all softball interviews with Donald Trump, who claimed he only knew of illegal hush payments “later on,” even though Trump is on tape directing Cohen to make the payments.

Trump cites ‘massive’ Obama campaign finance violation.

President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that the campaign finance violations his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to in federal court are equivalent to campaign finance violations committed by Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign.

“If you look at President Obama, he had a massive campaign violation, but he had a different attorney general, and they viewed it a lot different,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business.

Earlier Wednesday the president had tweeted: “Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime. President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!”

But there is no comparison, experts told NBC News. Cohen’s admitted campaign finance law violations are indeed a crime, and they are not similar to the campaign finance violations made by Obama’s 2008 campaign. Election law experts said that more minor violations are treated as regulatory or civil matters, while egregious and willful campaign finance violations are treated as criminal acts — no matter who the attorney general is.

“What Michael Cohen has admitted to doing is absolutely a crime,” said Mitchell Epner, a former federal prosecutor who is now of counsel at Rottenberg Lipman Rich P.C.

Cohen, who was Trump’s longtime lawyer, pleaded guilty to violating two campaign finance rules — willfully causing a corporate finance violation and making an excessive campaign contribution. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and involved hush-money payments to two women who said they had relationships with Trump.

[NBC News]

Trump slams Cohen, lauds Manafort after twin legal blows

U.S. President Donald Trump, in tweets about the stunning legal setbacks involving two of his former lieutenants, on Wednesday attacked the one who has turned on him and defended the one who has remained loyal.

Trump lashed out at former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen in a Twitter post by saying the campaign finance violations Cohen pleaded guilty to in federal court in New York on Tuesday were “not a crime” – even though prosecutors and Cohen agreed that they were. Trump made the claim without offering any evidence.

In another tweet, Trump said, “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen.”

At the same time, Trump on Twitter praised former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was convicted on Tuesday of multiple counts of fraud, as a “brave man” for not cooperating with federal authorities.

Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. He told a federal court in Manhattan that Trump directed him to arrange payments ahead of the 2016 presidential election to silence two women who said they had affairs with Trump.

Fox News released excerpts of an interview conducted with Trump on Wednesday in which the president said he knew of the payments “later on” but did not elaborate.

After first denying that he knew anything about the payments, Trump earlier this year acknowledged that he reimbursed Cohen for payments he made in late 2016 to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Daniels has alleged she had a relationship with Trump.

The president has insisted he paid Cohen out of personal funds and that the payments were not intended to benefit his campaign but to resolve a personal matter.

“They’re weren’t taken out of campaign finance. That’s a big thing,” Trump said in the Fox interview. “They didn’t come out of the campaign; they came from me.”

[Reuters]

Reality

This is a lie.

Trump was heard on a secret recording by Michael Cohen proving he knew at the time illegal hush payments were being made.

Donald Trump admits he’s sad about Manafort — but ‘it has nothing to do with collusion’

President Donald Trump spoke to the press after he landed in Charleston West Virginia Tuesday.

“Paul Manafort’s a good man. He was with Ronald Reagan. He was with a lot of very different people over the years,” Trump said. “I feel very sad about that. I still feel, you know, it is a very sad thing that happened.”

Trump then turned to repeat his talking point that there was no Russian collusion.

“This has nothing to do with Russia and collusion,” he said. “This started as Russian collusion. This has absolutely nothing to do. This is a witch hunt and a disgrace. This has nothing to do what they started locking out looking for Russians involved in our campaign. There were nothing.”

He then returned to praise Manafort, saying he feels bad. “He worked for Bob Dole. He worked for Ronald Reagan. He worked for many, many people. And this is way it ends up.”

He then blasted the efforts by the special counsel, which he characterized as a witch hunt.

“It was not the original mission. Believe me. It was something very much different. So, nothing to do with Russia and collusion. We continue the witch hunt. Thank you very much,” he said.

[Raw Story]

Reality

Sorry Trump fans but Manfort’s verdict has EVERYTHING to do with Russian collusion. Manafort refused to turn state’s evidence against Donald Trump regarding the 2016 Trump Tower meeting he attended with Trump Jr. & Jared Kushner. He wouldn’t play ball with Robert Mueller so now he goes to jail, or cooperates.

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