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Trump says he didn't know Stormy Daniels was paid by Cohen

Trump aboard Air Force One.
Photo : Nicholas KammAFP/Getty Images

President Trump spoke to reporters on Air Force One Thursday and said he didn't know his lawyer Michael Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 before the election.

Why it matters: This is the first time Trump has spoken publicly about the alleged affair with Daniels, which she detailed in a 60 Minutes interview last month. Cohen said he paid Daniels with his own money, and "[n]either the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford."

Our thought bubble from Jonathan Swan: Trump came back to defend his embattled EPA head Scott Pruitt (whom he called "courageous".) In doing so he risked (and received) a Stormy question. That shows what a desperate situation Pruitt is in and how much Trump is trying to counter the story. He's boxed in at the moment. Conservatives are lobbying him hard to keep Pruitt, something they didn't do for Tillerson or Shulkin.

Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, followed up with a tweet saying he and his client "look forward to testing the truthfulness" of the president.