PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
00:49
Trump: No knowledge of Stormy Daniels payment
Trump Stormy Daniels not changed story new_00000000.jpg
Trump Stormy Daniels not changed story new_00000000.jpg
Now playing
00:54
Trump gets testy with reporter over porn star
PHOTO: ABC
Now playing
02:51
Stormy Daniels releases sketch
PHOTO: Photo Illustration: Getty/Shutterstock/CNNMoney
Now playing
03:39
Stormy, Cohen and Trump: What you should know
rudy giuliani tel aviv
PHOTO: Globes
rudy giuliani tel aviv
Now playing
01:00
Giuliani: Melania believes Trump over Daniels
PHOTO: CBS/"60 Minutes"
Now playing
03:06
Stormy Daniels: 'I have no reason to lie'
PHOTO: NBC/Broadway Video
Now playing
01:11
Stormy Daniels taunts Trump on 'SNL'
playboy karen mcdougal trump amorio maestra preescolar playmate acuerdo ami digital pkg_00000511.jpg
PHOTO: Karen McDougal / Getty Images
playboy karen mcdougal trump amorio maestra preescolar playmate acuerdo ami digital pkg_00000511.jpg
Now playing
01:20
Karen McDougal: Preschool teacher turned Playboy model
trump time magazine cover
PHOTO: CNN
trump time magazine cover
Now playing
01:52
TIME cover shows Trump in 'Stormy' conditions
PHOTO: photo illustration/cbs/getty images
Now playing
05:07
NYT: FBI searched for porn star, playmate payment records
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:51
The cases that bind Cohen, Davidson
Now playing
01:45
McDougal appears in photo with Trump family
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 06: Karen McDougal attends Playboy
PHOTO: Getty Images
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 06: Karen McDougal attends Playboy's Super Saturday Night Party at Sagamore Hotel on February 6, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Playboy)
Now playing
02:53
Karen McDougal and the 'catch and kill' system
Stormy Daniels taking a polygraph exam in 2011.
PHOTO: Courtesy Michael Avenatti
Stormy Daniels taking a polygraph exam in 2011.
Now playing
02:58
Polygraph: Stormy Daniels truthful about Trump
LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 04:  Adult film actress/director Stormy Daniels hosts a Super Bowl party at Sapphire Las Vegas Gentlemen
PHOTO: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 04: Adult film actress/director Stormy Daniels hosts a Super Bowl party at Sapphire Las Vegas Gentlemen's Club on February 4, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:58
The president and the porn star
(CNN) —  

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not know about a $130,000 payment made to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels for her silence, his first public acknowledgment of the scandal surrounding an alleged sexual affair that has plagued him for months.

“No,” a terse Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One when questioned about his knowledge of the payment, which was made by his private attorney Michael Cohen in the month before the 2016 election.

The one word response broke a months-long public silence from Trump on the matter, though he’s fumed about the issue in private and adamantly denied to his associates Daniels’ claim he had an affair with her in 2006.

An agitated Trump tried to move quickly on – “What else?” he asked after responding – but reporters in the press cabin continued their questioning, asking why Cohen made the payment.

“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen,” Trump said. “Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”

He said he didn’t know where the money came from, and denied he set up a fund for Cohen to draw from in making the payment.

The back-and-forth lasted only 25 seconds. But Trump’s remarks amount to his most robust response yet to a story that has continued to pose legal and ethical questions for the White House. Trump’s advisers encouraged him to avoid inflaming the issue by addressing it publicly, even as the President was itching to defend himself.

The White House has consistently refused to answer whether Trump was aware of the payment Cohen made to Daniels in October 2016.

The payment came in conjunction with a nondisclosure agreement Daniels signed that was designed to prevent her from speaking about the alleged sexual encounter.

Daniels recently filed a lawsuit to get out of the agreement, claiming it was void because Trump himself did not sign it. And she has spoken out about her experience, including during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired last month.

On Thursday, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said Trump’s remarks improved their legal standing.

“Our case just got that much better. And we very much look forward to testing the truthfulness of Mr. Trump’s feigned lack of knowledge concerning the $130k payment as he stated on Air Force One,” Avenatti said in a statement.

“As history teaches us, it is one thing to deceive the press and quite another to do so under oath,” he said.

Further, Avenatti told CNN he plans to refile a motion to depose Trump and Cohen on Monday, the same motion that was rejected recently because a judge said it was “premature.”

“Now it’s not premature,” Avenatti said, since the other side has since filed a motion to compel arbitration. “We will seek the deposition of Cohen and Trump.”

CNN’s MJ Lee contributed to this report.