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Trump's financial disclosure report released

CNBC logo CNBC 5/16/2018 Kevin Breuninger

President Donald Trump's public financial disclosure form was released on Wednesday, and it says Trump "fully reimbursed" his long-time lawyer Michael Cohen for an unspecified amount and purpose in 2017.

Cohen is known to have paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 on the eve of the 2016 presidential election in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump.

The disclosure does not mention the reason Trump paid Cohen.

But it says that Cohen incurred expenses in 2016 and that he sought reimbursement for those expenses, "and Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Mr. Cohen in 2017."

The "category of value" of the reimbursement Trump paid Cohen according to the disclosure is not a firm amount, but a range: $100,001 to $250,000.

The disclosure appears to corroborate claims from Rudy Giuliani — a recent addition to Trump's legal team — that the president personally reimbursed Cohen for that $130,000 payment.

The former New York City mayor Giuliani offered that new information in a series of interviews earlier this month, after Cohen's own lawyer had denied Trump reimbursed Cohen.

Giuliani told the New York Times that Trump paid Cohen in monthly installments of $35,000 beginning after the election, which totaled up to $470,000.

Trump had previously denied knowledge of Cohen's payment to Daniels.

But the president acknowledged the hush deal and Cohen's reimbursement in a trio of tweets following Giuliani's initial revelations.

Cohen, he said, "received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement."

Trump added that such deals are "very common among celebrities and people of wealth," and that it was used in this case to "stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair."

Thousands of executive branch employees filed the annual forms on Tuesday — including the president, according to the Office of Government Ethics. Trump's previous filing from June 2017 accounted for nearly $600 million in income — but made no mention of any payments to Cohen or Essential Consultants, the company set up to broker the hush deal with Daniels.


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