Cohen testifies that Trump directed him to lie about the Stormy Daniels payments

Michael Cohen.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Michael Cohen testified on Wednesday that President Trump last year directed him to lie about hush-money payments made to Stormy Daniels.

Cohen was asked by Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) whether the president called him in early 2018 to "coordinate on public messaging" regarding the Daniels scandal. Cohen said he had and that he was told to falsely claim Trump "was not knowledgeable of these reimbursements and he wasn't knowledgeable of my actions."

Cohen at the time released a statement saying that "neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign" was involved in making the payments, and Cohen now says he carefully worded this statement so as to leave out Trump himself, who he says was involved. Cohen had previously testified that Trump reimbursed him for these illegal payments to Daniels, showing Congress a copy of a $35,000 check he says Trump paid him for this purpose.

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Trump had claimed in 2018 that he was not aware of Cohen making these payments to Daniels.

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