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Trump Lawyer Said to Silence a Porn Actress

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Stephanie Clifford, 38, says she had an affair with Trump. - GLENN FRANCIS, WWW.PACIFICPRODIGITAL.COM
  • Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com
  • Stephanie Clifford, 38, says she had an affair with Trump.

By MEGAN TWOHEY and JIM RUTENBERG
© 2018 New York Times News Service

A lawyer for President Donald Trump orchestrated a $130,000 payment to a pornographic-film actress in October 2016 to prevent her from going public with claims of a consensual sexual encounter with Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The reported payment came shortly before the presidential election and as the actress, Stephanie Clifford, 38, was discussing sharing her account with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and the online magazine Slate, according to interviews, notes and text messages reviewed by The New York Times.

Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of the Slate Group, said Friday that in a series of interviews with Clifford in August and October 2016, she told him she had an affair with Trump after meeting him at a 2006 celebrity golf tournament. She told him that Michael D. Cohen, a lawyer for Trump, had agreed during the presidential campaign to pay her the $130,000 if she kept the relationship secret, Weisberg said, adding that Clifford had told him she was tempted to go public because the lawyer was late in making the payment and she feared he might back out of their agreement.

Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, forwarded Weisberg a draft amendment to the original agreement in which the parties were referred to by pseudonyms. Weisberg shared it with The Times.

According to the draft, Clifford was referred to as “Peggy Peterson” and was represented by a lawyer named Keith Davidson. On the other end of the negotiations were other parties referred to as “David Dennison” and “David Delucia.” Clifford promised to send Weisberg the original paperwork. But shortly after the text message exchange, Clifford stopped responding. Weisberg said that his conversations with the actress were on the record but that he was not prepared to write the story without her consent.

In an email sent on Friday to The Times, Cohen did not address the $130,000 payment, but said, “These rumors have circulated time and again since 2011. President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.”

The White House issued a statement, saying, “These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the el
ection.”


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