White House press secretary Sarah Sanders refused to answer whether President Donald Trump was aware of a $130,000 payment made by his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to porn star Stormy Daniels at Wednesday’s White House press briefing.
“Look, the President has denied the allegations. We’ve spoken about this issue extensively and I don’t have anything else beyond that. Anything beyond that I would refer you to the outside counsel,” Sanders said in response to the direct question of whether Trump was aware of the payment.
Sanders has claimed she has answered questions surrounding Daniels and the lawsuit “extensively” but the White House has yet to answer whether Trump was aware of the payment.
Sanders has also repeatedly claimed that the President has addressed the controversy surrounding Daniels, which he has never done himself. In October 2016, Michael Cohen released a statement to CNN on behalf of Trump saying: “President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.”
At the time, Cohen also signed a statement from Daniels saying the allegations of an affair were “absolutely false.”
Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti filed a motion in federal court Wednesday seeking to depose the President and Cohen to ask about the $130,000 payout before the 2016 election.
In the motion, Avenatti laid out questions he’d like answered, including whether Trump knew about the hush agreement and the scope of his involvement, where the payment came from, what Cohen’s role was, and whether Trump consented to the agreement and was involved in efforts to silence Daniels “to benefit his presidential campaign by preventing voters from hearing plaintiff speak publicly.”