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WSJ: Trump’s Lawyer Arranged $130,000 Payment to Porn Star in Exchange for Silence Over Alleged Affair

A lawyer for Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to former porn star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) one month before the 2016 election in order to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual encounter between her and Trump in 2006, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Michael Cohen came to an agreement with Clifford’s lawyer wherein the actress would sign a nondisclosure agreement in exchange for the money, sources told WSJ. The alleged encounter occurred about a year after Trump had married his current wife, Melania Trump. The payment reportedly took a while to go through, and at one point Clifford threatened to back our of the arrangement.

“These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election,” a White House official told the WSJ in response to the supposed Trump-Clifford affair.

“President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels,” Cohen added in a statement.

Cohen also sent a statement to WSJ signed by “Stormy Daniels” which includes the line, “Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false.”

Trump and Clifford met at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Nevada in 2006. Clifford, who was there on behalf of Wicked Pictures, posed for photos with several players. This was rumored to be the start of an affair between the two. From The Smoking Gun:

The photo op between the married billionaire and the porn star would be the start of a relationship that would prompt whispers in the adult film community, according to TSG sources. In fact, Clifford confided to friends that she engaged in a sexual affair with Trump, whom she claimed had promised to help her get cast on “The Apprentice” or another TV show.

The Wall Street Journal also reports that Clifford, who briefly considered a political career of her own, has privately discussed the alleged 2006 encounter with Trump. Back in November 2016, WSJ reported that Clifford was in talks to go public with her story on Good Morning America, but eventually backed out.

Update (7:15 p.m. ET): Porn star Alana Evans—Clifford’s neighbor and close friend at the time of the alleged Trump affair in 2006—told The Daily Beast that Clifford confided in her about the sexual encounter after it happened. Evans was in Nevada at the same time. She said Clifford and Trump invited her to party with them on the night in question after the celebrity golf tournament. Evans declined. Per the Beast:

Evans said she talked to Daniels the next day, apologized for bailing, and asked her how the night went. “She tells me, ‘All I’m going to say is: I ended up with Donald in his hotel room. Picture him chasing me around his hotel room in his tighty-whities.’ I was like, ‘Oh I really didn’t need to hear that!’ Then she said he offered her keys to his condos in Florida, and I was like, ‘Wow guess you had a good night,’ and that was the last we ever spoke of it.”

A second source who works with Clifford and a third source in the adult industry also confirmed the Clifford-Trump relationship to The Daily Beast.