Changing his story, President Trump acknowledged a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels on Thursday, but said a non-disclosure agreement was "used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair."
Contradicting previous statements that he knew nothing about any sort of payment, Trump tweeted that these agreements are "very common among celebrities and people of wealth."
The president also tweeted that campaign funds "played no roll in this transaction" — misspelling the term "role" — though some legal analyst said the previously unreported payment could be considered an in-kind political contribution subject to federal law.
Trumps revelation on Twitter came the morning after his attorney, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, said the president repaid his personal attorney Michael Cohen for money given to Daniels.
While Trump and Giuliani stressed that the Daniels money came from personal funds, legal analysts said it could be considered an in-kind campaign political contribution because it came right before the election. That would make it subject to campaign finance laws, and Trumps team never reported the payment.
Attorney George Conway, who is the husband of White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, tweeted out a section of campaign finance law:
"If any person, including a relative or friend of the candidate, gives or loans the candidate money for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office, the funds are not considered personal funds of the candidate even if they are given to the candidate directly. Instead, the gift or loan is considered a contribution from the donor to the campaign, subject to the per-election limit and reportable by the campaign."
Giuliani, appearing Thursday on Fox & Friends, to discuss the non-disclosure agreement, said: “Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton?"
Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti, meanwhile, took to Twitter to mock both Trump and Giuliani for helping his client make her case.
"Whatever happens @foxandfriends, please do not stop helping our case week in and week out by having Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani appear and make damaging stmts," Avenatti tweeted. "You are truly THE BEST; where can we send the gift basket? #basta"
The non-disclosure agreement and the secret payment came just days before the 2016 presidential election that Trump won.
Trump tweeted about the Daniels case just hours before hosting a National Day of Prayer event at the White House.
In his tweet storm, Trump said Cohen was paid a monthly retainer, and that money was used to enter into the non-disclosure agreement with Daniels.
"The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair, despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair," Trump tweeted.
The presidents tweets contained legalese and showed signs of assistance from a lawyer.
Back on April 5, he denied knowing about the $130,000 payment to Daniels, telling reporters aboard Air Force One: "You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael."
After Giuliani discussed the payments on Fox News, Avenatti called the new admission "a stunning revelation."
"Mr. Trump evidently has participated in a felony and there must be serious consequences for his conduct and his lies and deception to the American people," Avenatti told the Associated Press.