PBS NewsHour / YouTube WATCH Raj Shah holds news briefing...
PBS NewsHour / YouTube

In the wake of adult film star Stormy Daniels’ 60 Minutes interview Sunday night, White House spokesperson Raj Shah faced a barrage of questions Monday about her relationship with Donald Trump. Interestingly, Shah effectively hung Trump attorney Michael Cohen and the Trump Organization out to dry when asked if the $130,000 payment to Daniels violated federal election law, as many legal experts conjecture it did.

Reporter: Can you state categorically that the president, his campaign,and the Trump Organization did not violate federal election law regarding that payment

Shah: I can speak for only the White House, and I can say categorically that obviously the White house didn’t engage in any wrong doing. The campaign or Mr. Cohen can address anything with respect to their actions.

Well, thanks for that total non-denial denial. Of course Trump’s White House didn’t make an illegal payment during the 2016 campaign—because Trump’s White House didn’t even exist at the time. As for Cohen and the Trump Organization, sorry, you’re on your own, kids.

Shah went on to assert that Trump doesn’t believe “any of the claims” Daniels made in the 60 Minutes interview. But he had a little trouble explaining why, if all her claims are false, she got paid $130,000 not to talk about all those things that didn’t happen.


UPDATE: Story Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on Monday: “You don’t pay $130,000 to somebody that doesn’t have a legitimate claim.”

Reporter: Why would, in this case, $130,000 be paid to a woman in the days before the election? You’re saying that she made false claims, but why then would $130,000 be paid to her?

Shah: False charges are settled out of court all the time. You have to ask Michael Cohen about the specifics.

Oh, so paying off someone who’s lying is just standard practice, according to Shah. The claims are supposedly false, but apparently worthy of hush money.

That’s interesting, because there’s been a whole lot of charges by women that Trump claimed were false, yet Trump’s goon Cohen never offered them a sizable payment for their silence. Maybe their stories weren’t backed up by the threat of pictures and texts or other incriminating material. Perhaps any story that amounts to more than a simple Trump-said/she-said carries a little more weight in Trump world. But apparently, we’re gonna have to ask Cohen.

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