President Donald Trump reportedly played a direct role in hush money payments to women he allegedly had affairs with.
President Donald Trump reportedly played a direct role in hush money payments to women with whom he allegedly had affairs, according to evidence gathered by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. And prosecutors have gathered evidence that he possibly violated campaign finance law in the process.
Trump was involved in "nearly every step" of the coordinated efforts to keep the women quiet about their histories with him, in an apparent effort to help his presidential campaign, The Wall Street Journal said in a bombshell report on Friday. The report cited court documents, corporate records, and interviews with dozens of people.
The president has repeatedly denied playing any role in hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who have both alleged affairs with the president. But the US attorney's office in Manhattan has reportedly gathered evidence revealing Trump's involvement in the transactions.
In August, Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen admitted to making payments to two women, saying he did so at the direction of Trump, and pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations.
According to the Wall Street Journal report, Trump "directed" the deals "in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen, and others."
The report also claims Trump enlisted the help of media executive David Pecker, who owns the tabloid National Enquirer, to "buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize sexual encounters with Mr. Trump."
Pecker's company ultimately bought McDougal's story for $150,000.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents Daniels, told Business Insider the Journal's report "confirms what we've been alleging for over eight months." He said it proves the president was "deeply involved" in the $130,000 payment to his client. Avenatti further called for Trump's "immediate indictment."
"I hope he's indicted," Avenatti added.