On April 5, President Trump specifically said he had no knowledge of the $130,000 payment Michael Cohen made to Stormy Daniels, and referred all questions back to Cohen. Last night, Rudy Giuliani admitted that Trump had reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 in a series of payments that completed in 2017.
During Thursday’s White House press briefing, Sarah Sanders was presented with a very difficult task are explaining how these two things are consistent.
She barely tried.
Sanders initially said that “this was information the president didn’t know at the time but eventually learned.”
But how could Trump not know about the $130,000 payment by Cohen if he had already reimbursed Cohen?
That’s precisely what Sanders was asked next by ABC’s Jonathan Karl. “How could he not have known, he was paying him back?”
“I’m not going to get into those details,” Sanders replied.
This isn’t an answer but an acknowledgement that there is no answer.
CNN’s Jim Acosta gave it another shot. “How can you only be aware of something 10 days to two weeks ago but at the same time be in the process of paying monthly retainers that apparently covered this reimbursement?”
“I can’t get into the details of the ongoing litigation. I would refer you to the President’s outside counsel,” Sanders replied.
Another issue, raised by Acosta and others, was Sanders own statement on March 7, in which she told reporters that she had spoken to the president and he had no knowledge of the payments made to Daniels.
Acosta asked if she was “lying” or if she was “in the dark.”
Sanders said she gave “the best information I had.”
She later acknowledged that the first time she learned that Trump had reimbursed Cohen for the Stormy Daniels payment was when she watched the Rudy Giuliani interview on Hannity last night.