Trump Lawyer Admits He Gave Stormy Daniels $130K but Says Trump Had Nothing to Do With It



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For the first time, Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer has publicly confirmed he gave a $130,000 payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) in October  2016. But Michael D. Cohen insists neither the president nor his 2016 campaign had anything to do with the transaction.
“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,” Cohen said in a statement provided to The New York Times. Cohen said that the payment “was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”
Cohen told the Times that he gave a similar statement to the Federal Election Commission in response to a complaint filed by Common Cause, a government watchdog group.
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Cohen did not disclose what the payment, which he called a “private transaction,” was actually for. But in January, the Wall Street Journal reported that the $130,000 was given to Daniels as part of an agreement to prevent her from going public about “an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump.”
Cohen said at the time that Daniels denied an affair took place. Daniels did not make a public statement of her own, but just days later, a 2011 interview she gave to In Touch Weekly, in which she discussed having an affair with Trump in graphic detail, resurfaced online.
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On Jan. 30, Cohen released a statement in Daniels’ name that expressly denied the affair. However, Daniels has so far never denied the affair publicly, and most notably, during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” she refused to either confirm or deny the affair, or even that she had earlier denied the affair.
The White House did not immediately respond to requests from TheWrap for comment. Representatives for Stormy Daniels also did not immediately respond.

We’re in for at least (probably) three more years of Donald Trump as President of the United States. That means lots of bad things and one particularly great thing: We’re in for a lot more Alec Baldwin impersonations of Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” From the often ridiculous phrases to the weird outbursts, “SNL” has captured all of it. In fact, the sketches often seem to struggle to surpass reality in terms of absurdity. But they get there. Here’s a list of every Baldwin-as-Trump “SNL” sketch, ranked from least to most hilarious, with links to the sketches.
NBC

25. Trump’s Classroom Cold Open (Dec. 3, 2016)
Trump retweets ridiculous people, like a 16-year-old and a white supremacist. This one’s sadder than it is funny, though, because most of it doesn’t even require jokes. You can watch that sketch here.
NBC

24. Donald Trump Prepares Cold Open (Nov. 19, 2016)
Fresh off winning the election, Trump’s completely unprepared. We already know that Mike Pence will do everything, but good effort, “SNL.” You can watch that sketch here.
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23. Trump’s Christmas Cold Open (Dec. 17, 2016)
Vladimir Putin and Rex Tillerson drop by Trump Tower for Christmas. This one definitely brings to mind the phrase, “No puppet, no puppet.” It’s also, perhaps, the most outright terrifying of all of these. You can watch that sketch here.
NBC

22. The O’Reilly Factor with Donald Trump (April 8, 2017) 
Alec Baldwin played both a scandalized Bill O’Reilly and Trump, who appeared on O’Reilly’s show to defend him. A clueless Trump is a nice addition to this one but he’s ultimately just an addition to another gag. You can watch the sketch here.
NBC

21. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton — Debate Three Cold Open (Oct. 22, 2016)
Trump is winning “every single poll taken outside a Cracker Barrel,” but it’s Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton who steals this one — kind of like in real life. You can watch that sketch here.
NBC

20. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton — Debate 1 Cold Open (Oct. 1, 2016)
The first debate really found Baldwin hitting the Trump stride. It’s mostly just him shouting “Gina” in a very insistent tone (his weird pronunciation of “China”). “Yuge Gina” gets a lot of mileage though. You can watch that sketch here.
NBC

19. Trump Takes the Appeals Court to ‘The People’s Court’ (Feb. 11, 2017)
“SNL” made good on Trump’s all-caps “SEE YOU IN COURT” tweet by taking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to “The People’s Court.” But Judge Milian hassling Trump about his travel ban was a bit too short to really take off. Watch the sketch here.
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18. White House Christmas Cold Open (Dec. 2. 2017)
Donald Trump is visited by “the ghost of witness flipped,” Gen. Michael Flynn, but it’s Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton who steals the sketch. Watch the video here. 

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17. Sean Spicer Confronts Trump (May 13, 2017)
After a tough White House Press Briefing, Melissa McCarthy’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer rode his motorized podium to New York to confront Trump on lies. The pair wound up making out. Watch the sketch here.
NBC

16. Donald Trump Phoenix Rally Cold Open (Aug. 24, 2016)
Trump gives a goodbye to Steve Bannon and pledges to build the Wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and make the American tax payer pay for it. Watch the sketch here.
NBC

15. Trump’s People (April 8, 2017)
Trump checks in with rural white Americans after ordering an airstrike on Syria. Desperate to keep everyone happy, he promises everyone will have coal jobs for the rest of their lives and that he’ll slash minimum wage. The final joke about “finger chili” is a standout moment. Watch the sketch right here.
NBC

14. Fox & Friends Cold Open (Feb. 5)
Trump called in to his favorite show, Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” for a quick pick-me-up after his State of the Union address. Trump isn’t the complete focus of this one, but when he shows up to tout the address, he gets in some good jokes — like how “people” are saying the SOTU was better than Martin Luther King’s “I Dream of Jeannie” speech. Watch the sketch here.
NBC

13. VP Debate Cold Open (Oct. 8, 2o16)
Trump nabs the spotlight from the vice presidential debate and realizes he needs to be a lot more careful about talking about sexually assaulting people while wearing hot mics. Describing himself as a gross groping hurricane is hilariously cringe-worthy. You can watch that sketch here.
NBC

12. Trump might have ties to Zorblat-9 as aliens invade (March 11)
Trump spoke to American troops to rally them in a battle against super-powerful space aliens. Unfortunately, Trump’s old standbys like “we don’t win anymore” and “we’re going to bring coal back” were not all that helpful. Most of the rhetoric is stuff we’ve heard before, but Leslie Jones’ and Sasheer Zamata’s moments near the end elevate the sketch. Watch the sketch here.
NBC

11. White House Tree Trimming Cold Open (Dec. 16, 2017)
Joined by his family, Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, Trump decks his Christmas tree by remembering the losers in his first year as president. Watch the video here.
NBC

10. Trump call with Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (Sept. 30, 2016)
Trump fields a call with Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and reminds her that if the U.S. territory should have invested in FEMA Prime if it wanted fast hurricane relief. Watch the sketch here.
NBC

9. Trump Administration sings “Hallelujah” (May 20, 2017)
The final cold open of the season references Kate McKinnon’s cold open as Hillary Clinton, making a perfect joke about Donald Trump’s week of news scandals. Scarlett Johansson even returned for a quick guest appearance to reprise her role as Ivanka Trump. Watch it here.
NBC

8. Hillary Clinton/Donald Trump Cold Open (Nov. 5, 2016)
CNN doesn’t care that Trump literally kisses the FBI, Putin and the KKK, instead pestering Hillary about emails. Alec and Kate heartwarming run through Times Square is the real sweet spot of the sketch. You can watch that sketch here.
NBC

7. Donald Trump gives Bannon and Kushner the ‘Apprentice’ Treatment (April 15, 2017)
After a week of reports about infighting between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, “SNL” pits the two advisers against each other in to see who will be eliminated. Spoiler alert: It’s Bannon. Watch the sketch here.
NBC

6. Donald Trump Trucker Rally Did Cold Open (Oct. 14, 2017)
Baldwin’s Trump continues to make Vice President Mike Pence (Beck Bennett) walk out of things in protest, including a basketball game, a Starbucks and a gay wedding. Watch the sketch here.
NBC

5. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Town Hall Debate Cold Open (Oct. 15, 2016)
Of all the debates, the second was the funniest. Trump lurking in the background and slipping past Hillary like he’s the shark in a “Jaws” movie completely captures the awkwardness of the real event. You can watch that sketch here.
NBC

4. Paul Manafort’s House Cold Open (Nov. 4, 2017)
After Robert Mueller indicts Paul Manafort, Trump offers a pardon plan: Pretend he’s a Thanksgiving turkey. Watch the video here.
NBC

3. Donald Trump Press Conference Cold Open (Jan. 14, 2017)
It might be the lowest-brow of the sketches, but Trump accidentally talking about urine throughout his press conference is bested only by the line, “I’m not talking about the pee-pee, because it didn’t happen and it wasn’t as cool as it sounds.” You can watch that sketch here.
NBC

2. Donald Trump and Steve Bannon call world leaders (Feb. 4, 2017)
“SNL” channels two weeks of executive actions and other Trump news items to turn out a ton of jokes that channel absurdity while still finding new ways to be funny. Watch the sketch here.
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1. Donald Trump interview with Lester Holt (May 13, 2017)
After firing former FBI Director James Comey, Trump realized he could say just about anything with no consequences. He tried it out in an interview with Lester Holt. Watch the sketch here.
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Get ready for three more years of this

We’re in for at least (probably) three more years of Donald Trump as President of the United States. That means lots of bad things and one particularly great thing: We’re in for a lot more Alec Baldwin impersonations of Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” From the often ridiculous phrases to the weird outbursts, “SNL” has captured all of it. In fact, the sketches often seem to struggle to surpass reality in terms of absurdity. But they get there. Here’s a list of every Baldwin-as-Trump “SNL” sketch, ranked from least to most hilarious, with links to the sketches.

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