Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump Should Have Disclosed Daniels Payment, Ethics Office Says

Trump Should Have Disclosed Daniels Payment, Ethics Office Says

The form also reveals that the president repaid his lawyer Michael Cohen $100,000 for "third party" expenses - a payment widely believed to be reimbursement for a payment Mr Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016.

Rudy Giuliani, who recently became the Republican president's new personal attorney, has said Trump reimbursed Cohen for the original, $130,000 payment, which was made shortly before Trump's victory in the November 8, 2016 presidential election. Trump, who has denied having a sexual relationship with Daniels during his marriage to First Lady Melania Trump, said earlier this month that he reimbursed Cohen. Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen orchestrated the 2016 payment, but Trump reimbursed him, according to Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

The Office of Government Ethics "has concluded that, based on the information provided as a note to part 8, the payment made to Mr. Cohen is required to be reported as a liability", the agency's acting director David Apol said in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

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A reason for the payment to Cohen was not specified in the financial disclosure that the Office of Government Ethics released, The New York Times reported.

The footnote appears in a report giving the first extended look at Trump's income from his properties since he became president.

The exact figure specified in the financial disclosure is said to be between $100,000 and $250,000. The report says Trump did not have to disclose the payment but is doing so "in the interest of transparency". Among his holdings, he took in $25 million from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Giuliani indicated in an interview earlier this month that Trump reimbursed Cohen in installments. The disclosure was not included in Trump's 2017 filing. Previous year it took the agency about two days to make Trump's disclosure form public after it was submitted. The Office of Government Ethics said the president's report is under review. When Trump took office, he refused to fully divest from his global business, instead putting his assets in a trust controlled by his two sons and a senior executive.

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