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Donald Trump repaid lawyer Michael Cohen for ‘third party’ expense

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US President Donald Trump has acknowledged for the first time he repaid his lawyer Michael Cohen for a payment of at least $100,000 made to a "third party" in 2016.

The revelation was in ethics disclosures signed by Mr Trump that were released by the US Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday.

Mr Cohen made a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, shortly before the November 8, 2016, presidential election in exchange for her staying silent about an alleged affair she had with Mr Trump.

Mr Trump's new disclosure statement did not describe the purpose or the recipient of the 2016 payment made by Mr Cohen.

But the acting director of the ethics office, David Apol, in a letter to deputy attorney-general Rod Rosenstein said it should have been disclosed in ethics documents that Mr Trump filed in June 2017.

Mr Apol's letter was released with the Trump disclosures.

The ethics office is a government watchdog that provides oversight of the executive branch program designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest.

A photo of Michael Cohen looking back over his shoulder at Trump Tower.

Mr Trump's latest disclosure filing said Mr Cohen incurred the expense in 2016 and that Mr Cohen "sought reimbursement" in 2017.

"Mr Trump fully reimbursed Mr Cohen," the report said.

The payment made by Mr Cohen was between $100,001 and $250,000 and there was no interest incurred, the report said.

Mr Trump had previously disputed whether he was aware of the payment by Mr Cohen and if he reimbursed him.

In April, Mr Trump told reporters he did not know anything about the payment.

On May 2, Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who joined Mr Trump's personal legal team in April, said Mr Trump had reimbursed Mr Cohen for the payment.

Mr Cohen has publicly acknowledged paying Ms Daniels, saying he obtained the cash through a line of credit on his home.

Reuters

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