Trump on hush-money payments: ‘They didn’t come out of the campaign — they came from me’

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  • President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox News set to air Thursday that the hush-money payments arranged by his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and the former Playboy model Karen McDougal came directly from him.
  • “They didn’t come out of the campaign – they came from me,” Trump said in the interview with “Fox & Friends.”
  • Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes on Tuesday.
  • During his plea entry, Cohen said the illegal campaign contributions to Daniels and McDougal were made at the direction of Trump to influence the election.

President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox News set to air Thursday that he, not his campaign, funded hush-money payments arranged by his former attorney Michael Cohen before the 2016 election to two women who say they had affairs with him.

When asked by Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt whether he knew about the payments to the women – the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and the former Playboy model Karen McDougal – Trump said he knew “later on.”

“They didn’t come out of the campaign – they came from me,” Trump said in the “Fox & Friends” interview, a clip of which the morning show tweeted Wednesday. Trump then claimed that it did not constitute a campaign-finance violation.

On Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted that the two counts of campaign-finance violations to which Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday “are not a crime.”

Cohen struck a plea deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to eight counts, including five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a bank, one count of causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an illegal campaign finance contribution.

During his plea entry, Cohen said he had made the illegal campaign and corporate contributions “at the direction of a candidate for federal office” and for the “purpose of influencing the election.”

He did not identify the candidate by name, but the criminal complaint, which refers to the candidate as “Individual 1,” said that person became president of the United States in January 2017, meaning it can be only Trump.

In April, Trump broke his silence on the payment to Daniels, denying that he knew about it or that he knew where the money came from – statements that were later proved false.