The New York Times first
reported that Cohen had said he made the payment himself.
Following initial reports
last month that Cohen had made the payment, he said in a statement that Trump “vehemently denies” any encounter between the two.
, the organization Common Cause filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department, alleging that the reported payment to Clifford constituted a campaign finance violation. But on Tuesday, Cohen’s statement denied that accusation and said the monetary exchange was “lawful” and “not a campaign contribution.”
“The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone,” Cohen said.
also said he filed a reply with the FEC, but that filing will not be public until the agency has resolved the matter.
When asked why he made the payment, Cohen told CNN: “Just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean that it can’t cause you harm or damage. I will always protect Mr. Trump.”