President Trump was "very pleased" with Rudy Giuliani's Wednesday night interview on Hannity, Giuliani told The Washington Post's Robert Costa, adding Trump had discussed with him and approved his revelation that Trump had repaid lawyer Michael Cohen for Cohen's $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump previously told reporters he knew nothing about the payment. It's a good thing Giuliani was able to get a comment from Trump, because Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley had nothing to say on Fox News after Sean Hannity's show ended.
"We had no idea of the topics of the show, obviously," Gidley told anchor Shannon Bream. Giuliani's comments involve ongoing litigation, "we have nothing to say about it, the president has outside counsel, and that's who I would have to refer you to. ... I'm not an attorney, I just work at the White House."
Giuliani, who is Trump's outside legal counsel, albeit for the Robert Mueller investigation not the Stormy Daniels litigation, dropped his news about Trump repaying Cohen as part of an argument that this repayment cleared Trump and Cohen of campaign finance violations. Larry Noble, general counsel for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, disagreed.
"What is surprising is that Trump recently said he knew nothing about the payment. Now, Giuliani is trying to get the stories in sync, but this still leaves several potential violations," Noble told The Washington Post. "The timing of the payment is still strong evidence of it being campaign related. And the fact that Trump paid Cohen back strengthens that argument." Charles Harder, Trump's lawyer in the Daniels litigation, had no comment. Michael Avenatti, Daniels' lawyer, argued that "according to Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen were co-conspirators in a felony."