President Admits To Being Blackmailed.
First a little background of quotes from Trump’s attorney, and Trump himself, denying Trump had any knowledge of the Stormy Daniels Hush Agreement and $130,000 payola related to it.
“In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford. Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.”— Trump Personal Attorney Michael Cohen, February 14th.
The President’s Press Secretary Sarah Sanders weighed in quite clearly on March 7th.
“There was no knowledge of any payments from the president, and he’s denied all of these allegations.”
Michael Cohen’s attorney David Schwartz appeared on CNN March 28th to make things perfectly clear.
David Schwartz: The President was not aware of the agreement, at least Michael Cohen never told him about the agreement . . .
Erin Burnett: Not aware about the agreement, what about the money?
Schwartz: He was not aware about any of it. He was not aware. He wasn’t told about it.
All that followed by this April 6 exchange by the President with reporters on Air Force One.
Reporter: Did you know about $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?
Reporter: Then why did Michael Cohen make it if there is no truth to the allegations?
Trump: You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen, Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.
Reporter: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?
Trump: No, I don’t know.
Now, Trump’s latest very personal attorney du jour, Rudy Giuliani, in interviews with Hannity, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post declares “the President repaid it” to Cohen. Giuliani stated that while Trump “didn’t know about the specifics of it . . . he did know the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this.”
Gosh, wonder how many more “things like this” there are.
Trump affirms this business as usual stuff about paying off porn stars in a series of remarkable tweets that say nothing about the prior denials.
In terms of the supposed “very common” nature of this, Cohen did use a virtually identical hush agreement (right down to the aliases of David Dennison and Penny Peterson) for billionaire Elliott Broidy’s affair with a Playboy model that ended in a pregnancy and abortion. So these “very common” agreements are used for very real, actual affairs, not supposedly false “extortionist” ones.
Trump’s describing the porn star as an “extortionist” in that tweet raises questions itself. If believed, it means just days before the election the future President of the United States succumbed to extortion. With his own words Trump exposes the greatest true concern for this scandal, how susceptible to blackmail the President of the United State is. That’s a core concern in the Russia campaign collusion investigation too.
This was not some sort of grand voluntary gesture to come clean for the sake of coming clean. This admission comes only after the search warrants against Cohen. The investigators undoubtedly already have Cohen’s financial records and know all the details of the repayment. Trump and Giuliani only came clean on this because they knew there was no keeping it secret anyway, and they desired to release it on their own terms, with their own spin attached to it.
When will Trumpers tire of Trump lying to them? If this was all so above board, legal and legit, why the lying? When will the excuses for this stop? More to the point, when will Trumpers recognize the very real risks to national security related to a President who admits he is so easily extorted and blackmailed?