Speed Reads

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Trump falsely claims paying hush money out of his own pocket means he didn't break the law

President Trump sat down with Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt on Wednesday to talk about the last 24 hours of news.

Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime fixer, pleaded guilty Tuesday to committing campaign finance violations, describing how he paid hush money to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal "at the direction" of then-candidate Trump. The two women claim to have had affairs with Trump. While Trump previously said he did not know about Cohen's payments to the women, the attorney last month released a 2016 recording of the two men discussing whether to pay by cash or check. Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani further revealed this spring that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the funds.

When asked Wednesday whether he knew about the payments, Trump said he only knew "later on." He emphasized that the money wasn't "taken out of campaign finance," but his own pocket. "They didn't come out of the campaign," he said of the funds, "they came from me." He conceded that if the money had been taken from the campaign, "that could be a little dicey," but said that because he paid personally the transaction didn't constitute a campaign finance violation.

In fact, Trump's failure to report this purportedly personal payment to Cohen is what makes the transaction problematic, as Cohen explained that the payments were made "for the purpose of influencing the election" by helping the campaign dodge a public scandal. Watch the moment below, via Fox News. Summer Meza