Donald Trump undercut his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, on Friday saying the former NY mayor "needs to get his facts straight".
"I think it was very critical to helping President Clinton get through a hard period", he said. "It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not".
While Giuliani said the payment to Daniels was "going to turn out to be perfectly legal," legal experts said the new information raised a number of questions, including whether the money represented repayment of an undisclosed loan or could be seen as reimbursement for a campaign expenditure.
In a statement to the press, Giuliani mostly reiterated points he's made over the past two days: Trump did not violate campaign finance laws by paying hush money to Daniels, and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey deserved to be fired.
In a second interview with Fox News on Thursday morning, Giuliani seemed to confirm that the timing of the payment was tied to the 2016 election. Michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask Michael Cohen.
April 9, 2018 - Federal agents in NY raid Cohen's office and a hotel room, seizing records on topics including the payment made to Daniels. "He did his job".
► "It is undisputed that the President's dismissal of former Director Comey - an inferior executive officer - was clearly within his Article II power".
After months of denials, U.S. President Donald Trump has acknowledged paying off porn star Stormy Daniels. Until a couple of days ago, the president and his aides had responded to questions about the hush money by saying that the president knew nothing of it. In its raid on Cohen's office in April, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized documents related to the payment.
"You said on Air Force One that you did not know anything about the payments", a reporter pressed, referencing a statement he made at the beginning of April that he did not know about the payment.
Trump then confirmed what Giuliani said via Twitter. "Rudy is a great guy", Trump told them before getting on Marine One, "but he just started a day ago".
Trump also told the press that "Rudy knows it's a witch hunt", and "he started yesterday".
In an effort to apparently "get his facts straight", Giuliani released a statement addressing various legal issues that Trump is facing.
Instead, all Rudy did was to obliterate whatever strains of credibility the White House may have still had among the non-believers.
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"Rudy's great", Trump said there. adding: "He wasn't totally familiar with everything".
He said Trump did not know the specifics of the payment, but was generally aware of the arrangement.
Said former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "You know, there's an old saying in the law, 'Hang a lantern on your problems.' ..."
"It's not campaign money", Giuliani said, defending the payment.
Over recent months, Giuliani has occasionally spoken to the president but has not been in his coterie of close advisers.
"Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll (sic) in this transaction", Trump added. "Because everybody sees it now and it's a pure witch hunt".
"I would love to speak". "Nothing I want to do more, because we did nothing wrong".
The fact that the warrant came from a Mueller tip appeared to infuriate Trump, who called the raid "an attack on our country".
In a string of tweets, Walter Shaub, the former ethics chief of the Office of Government Ethics, points out that "in trying to talk his way out of a campaign finance violation, Trump has admitted to filing a false financial disclosure in 2017".
Trump also complained that there are too many "angry Democrats" on Mueller's team.
Giuliani, President Trump's newly hired attorney, violated that rule repeatedly in Wednesday night's interview with Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity and in subsequent statements.
As a lawyer, Giuliani hadn't practiced inside a courtroom in almost three decades, and his background was as a prosecutor, not a defense attorney.
The person, who requested anonymity to speak more candidly, said it is possible that Giuliani had a strategy in mind but that it wasn't clear.