White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has claimed the first she knew of Donald Trump repaying his lawyer for a $130,000 payment to an adult film star was when Rudy Giuliani revealed it on Wednesday night.
On Fox News, the former New York City Mayor made the bombshell revelation about the payment to Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 presidential election.
The news directly contradicted Trump’s statements last month that he had no knowledge that Cohen had paid Daniels, and the White House also denied that the President had any financial involvement.
On Thursday, Huckabee Sanders faced a bruising round of questions relating to what she knew about the arrangement.
“The first awareness I had was during the interview last night,” Sanders said of Giuliani’s disclosure to Sean Hannity.
She said Trump did not initially know that his personal lawyer had made the payment but learned about it later.
“I’ve had conversations with the president about this,” Sanders said.
“There was no knowledge of any payments from the president, and he’s denied all of these allegations.”
At one point, Sanders was asked if she was lying as a reporter read back an old statement she gave to the press.
“You said on March 7 that there was no knowledge of any payment from the president, and he has denied all these allegations,” the reporter said.
“Were you lying to us at the time, or were you in the dark?”
She did not directly answer the question and instead told the reporter that the president stood by his initial story.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had a brief affair with Trump in 2006. Trump has denied the affair.