Trump had central role in hush money payments to women

Former first lady Michelle Obama

Former first lady Michelle Obama

"The Wall Street Journal found that Mr. Trump was involved in or briefed on almost every step of the agreements".

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, left, looks at her attorney Michael Avenatti, after making a statement to reporters at a federal court in NY, on April 16, 2018.

President Trump knew details and facilitated payments to silence two women about their alleged affairs with him, according to a news report published Friday.

The Trump Tower meeting and its aftermath are among several previously unreported instances in which Mr. Trump intervened directly to suppress stories about his alleged sexual encounters with women, according to interviews with three dozen people who have direct knowledge of the events or who have been briefed on them, as well as court papers, corporate records and other documents.

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"He told federal prosecutors he conferred with Mr. Trump in the weeks before the 2016 election about paying Stephanie Clifford, the former adult-film star known professionally as Stormy Daniels, to keep quiet about her allegations of a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump", the WSJ reports. The report also said the Manhattan U.S. attorney has evidence of Mr. Trump's involvement with the payments. In August, the president's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to federal crimes for orchestrating the payments, which he said he did at Trump's direction. It alleges that he "directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen", and that the USA attorney's office in Manhattan is gathering evidence about his role. Cohen told prosecutors that as Trump discussed the payment to Daniels, he told him, "Get it done", the newspaper reported.

Neither the White House nor Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lawyer, immediately responded to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Daniels, told Business Insider that The Journal's report "confirms what we've been alleging for over eight months" and proves the president was "deeply involved" in the $US130,000 payment to his client.

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