The White House on Thursday struggled to contain the fallout from a string of damaging revelations about the criminal investigations plaguing Donald Trump’s presidency.
Washington awoke in a state of shock after Trump’s new attorney, Rudy Giuliani, disclosed that the president reimbursed his longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter.
The statement was designed to reduce Trump’s legal exposure to possible campaign finance charges. But it also contradicted the president’s previous claim he had no knowledge of the payment, renewing questions about the White House’s commitment to honesty.
The developments took many in the West Wing by surprise.