Porn actress offers to repay $130K so she can discuss Trump

Frederick Owens
March 13, 2018

Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star otherwise known as Stormy Daniels who alleges she had an affair with President Trump, is offering to return the $130,000 the president's personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid her in exchange for silence on the subject. And Cohen and his attorney Larry Rosen have not responded to a request for comment from NPR. But her spokeswoman said last month that Daniels planned to "tell her story", prompting Trump's lawyers to obtain a temporary restraining order from a private arbitrator.

Trump, whose wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron several months before his alleged relationship with Daniels began, has denied the affair, according to the White House.

On Monday, Avenatti sent a letter on Clifford's behalf to Cohen's law firm in NY, offering to return the $130,000 on March 16 "to resolve all pending disputes, including the lawsuit and arbitration", according to the letter shared by multiple news outlets.

But Clifford says only she and Cohen signed the agreement on October 28, 2016, Cohen on behalf of Essential Consultants.

"At some point they need to stop the bleeding, I would think", Avenatti said when pressed on why an attorney associated with Trump would accept the offer.

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The offer from Avenatti came after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a briefing last week that Trump had won an arbitration proceeding against Clifford.

Clifford in turn sued Trump for the right to speak about the "intimate relationship" she claims they had, saying he never signed the agreement to keep her quiet. It's hard to imagine that Trump's supporters will turn their backs on him because of this controversy.

BuzzFeed also reported that attorneys associated with Trump are considering filing a legal injunction aimed at preventing CBS from airing the interview with Clifford, citing an anonymous source.

The lawsuit claimed the "hush agreement" that was signed days before the 2016 presidential election is legally invalid because it was only signed by Clifford and Cohen and not by Trump.

The watchdog group Common Cause filed a federal complaint in January arguing that the payout to Daniels may have violated campaign finance rules. She's not free to talk about it, however, because she signed a nondisclosure agreement in 2016.

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