A lawyer for President Donald Trump reportedly paid a former adult film star more than $130,000 a month before the 2016 presidential election to keep her from publicly disclosing a sexual encounter with Trump.
The Wall Street Journal reports Michael Cohen, who spent nearly a decade as a top attorney at the Trump Organization, made the payment to Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels.
The alleged payment was made around the time the Access Hollywood tape leaked in October 2016. In the tape, Trump said he could grab women "by the p—."
A White House official declined to comment on the Journal's report. However, the official said allegations of a relationship between Trump and Clifford are “old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election."
Cohen also told the Journal that Trump "once again vehemently denies" the encounter, but didn't comment on the alleged payment, reports The Hill.
“This is now the second time that you are raising outlandish allegations against my client,” Cohen told the Journal. “You have attempted to perpetuate this false narrative for over a year; a narrative that has been consistently denied by all parties since at least 2011.”
Cohen is possibly referencing a Nov. 4, 2016 story published by the Journal. The Journal reported at the time that the National Enquirer, which supports Trump, paid a former Playboy model $150,000 for a story about an affair with the future President, but the tabloid did not publish it.
Cohen also sent the Journal a statement he claimed was signed by "Stormy Daniels," Clifford's professional name, and calls the allegations of hush money "completely false."
Clifford was also supposed to appear on Good Morning America just before the election, but backed out of the appearance without an explanation, reports The Hill.
In October 2016, The Smoking Gun reported on Trump's alleged relationship with Clifford, including a photo of the two together posted on Clifford's MySpace page. The site reported on rumors that Trump met Clifford at a gold tournament in 2006.
The Smoking Gun notes that a blog called The Dirty published rumors in 2011 that Trump cheated on Melania Trump while she was pregnant. The blog post did not get much attention at the time, but Trump and Clifford both denied the rumor.
Clifford and her lawyer did not comment.