Trump admits reimbursing lawyer who paid hush money to a porn star

Trump admits reimbursing lawyer who paid hush money to a porn star

Novartis AG said Wednesday its general counsel is retiring from the company in connection with its $1.2 million payments to a company owned by Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, as the Swiss drugmaker battles to contain the fallout from the arrangement.

How Trump dealt with the Stormy Daniels payment in his disclosure has been closely watched, particularly after his attorney Rudy Giuliani gave interviews earlier this month saying the president had repaid Cohen, a payment that had not shown up in Trump's report a year ago.

In February, Cohen said he was never reimbursed for payment to Daniels.

After a string of media appearances earlier this month that created more problems for the president than they solved, Rudy Giuliani made his return to the Trump-friendly programming of Fox News on Wednesday night.

It has sparked a string of damaging headlines about Cohen and how Trump's lawyer and so-called fixer sought payments from companies following Trump's 2016 election, apparently for consulting work - including AT&T and pharma giant Novartis.

The disclosure did not specify what the reimbursement was for, and gave just a range: $101,000-$250,000. "No President has been previously subject to any referral by (Office of Government Ethics) to DOJ as a result of having failed to report an item on their public financial disclosure report", said Virginia Canter, a former ethics official in the Clinton and Obama White Houses who is now with the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

"No", Trump said. "I don't know". And, according to the filing, Trump paid Cohen back, making Cohen's initial payment a loan.

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The request to Qatar would be the latest such exchange offered by Cohen to be made public following acknowledgements by USA and European companies last week that they paid Cohen, who was Trump's lawyer for about a decade and self-described "fixer" for Trump.

The document, which covers calendar year 2017, showed total income from Trump's business operations and investments of at least $453 million and assets valued at a minimum of $1.4 billion.

It provides the first extended look at the performance of Trump's Washington hotel, which opened in September 2016 and has become a magnet for lobbyists and Republican aides.

Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which the president frequents in the winter months, saw revenues of $25.1 million.

Other properties have not fared as well, including Trump National Doral, a golf resort near Miami, which is Trump's biggest cash flow generator. "He had donated something close to $100 million, what's another $100,000?"

His report shows that Trump received $64,840 from the Screen Actors Guild pension fund. Trump has appeared in several movies, including "Home Alone 2" and "Zoolander".

A prior disclosure made previous year covered a 16-month period and showed $37.3 million in revenues for Mar-a-Lago.

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