"They didn't come out of the campaign, they came from me."
In an interview with Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt, President Donald Trump responded to the allegations in the Michael Cohen plea deal.
President Trump, in an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt, insisted he only knew about hush-money payments made by Michael Cohen “later on” despite his ex-lawyer's claims to the contrary, while maintaining they were not campaign funds.
“Later on I knew. Later on. What he did—and they weren’t taken out of the campaign finance, that’s the big thing. That’s a much bigger thing,” Trump said Wednesday. “Did they come out of the campaign? They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me.”
He added, "In fact, my first question when I heard about it was, did they come out of the campaign, because that could be a little dicey. And they didn't come out of the campaign and that's big."
Trump insisted that the payments were "not even a campaign violation."
Interestingly, by pleading guilty in the case, Michael Cohen effectively established the hush money payments as a campaign finance violation, despite potentially strong arguments to the contrary, that Trump made today.
Trump insisted that he did not know about the payments until after they were made, contradicting Cohen's claim that the payments were "directed" by a "candidate for federal office" — almost certainly a reference to Trump.