Stormy Daniels: Donald Trump's personal lawyer claims he paid porn actress $130,000 before election

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer has claimed he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a porn actress who once claimed to have had an affair with the future president.

Attorney Michael Cohen told the New York Times he was not reimbursed by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign for the payment to Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

He said he made the payment in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, but denied it was an attempt to affect the result.

Mr Cohen wrote: “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”

Former adult film actress Stormy Daniels (Getty Images)

He told the New York Times he had delivered a similar statement to the Federal Election Commission in response to a complaint filed by Common Cause, a government watchdog group.

Common Cause had asked the FEC to investigate the source of the $130,000 (£95,000) payment and determine whether it represented an excessive campaign contribution.

Mr Cohen told the Times: “The allegations in the complaint are factually unsupported and without legal merit.”

The White House has denied the affair allegations (AFP/Getty Images)

The Wall Street Journal reported in January that Mr Cohen had arranged the payment to Ms Clifford in October 2016 to keep her from publicly discussing the alleged sexual encounter during the presidential campaign.

A week later, In Touch magazine published a 2011 interview with Ms Clifford in which she claimed she and Mr Trump had a sexual encounter after meeting at a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, a year after the billionaire businessman’s marriage to his third wife, Melania.

At the end of January, Ms Daniels said in a statement that the alleged affair never occurred.

But in a TV appearance the same day, she appeared to disown the statement, saying she didn’t know where it came from and the signature didn’t look like hers.

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