Top lawyer at Novartis to step down amid Michael Cohen scandal

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The USD130,000 payment in 2016 to Stephanie Clifford, better known as adult performer Stormy Daniels, was made by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who seems to have only been reimbursed a year ago, according to the president's 2017 financial disclosure form released Wednesday.

In an accompanying letter to the Justice Department, the head of the United States government ethics office, David Apol, questioned why Trump did not mention the repayment in his 2017 financial disclosure report.

Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti said Thursday on MSNBC that there is a possibility he could gain two more clients with payments from President Trump and his personal attorney Michael Cohen.

"Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly", Cohen said, using Daniels' real name, Stephanie Clifford.

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The exact figure specified in the financial disclosure is said to be between $100,000 and $250,000. Check back for updates. Membership fees at the club doubled to $200,000 after Trump's 2016 election.

But tucked away at the end of the New Yorker piece is an intriguing detail about information filed by other banks which raises key questions about the hush money deals Cohen struck with Daniels and others.

The document is being closely watched by ethics experts to see whether it discloses the $130,000 paid to porn star Stormy Daniels on his behalf by his attorney Michael Cohen.

Mueller's investigation has increasingly focused on Cohen and includes his work on Trump Tower Moscow, his personal business holdings and any payments to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

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While many pundits called Giuliani's disclosure a gaffe, Giuliani said at the time that he was working in sync with Trump.

Giuliani subsequently told The New York Times the reimbursement was made in monthly installments of $35,000 to Cohen that began some time after the campaign. Trump has previously denied knowing about that payment or reimbursing Cohen.

Cohen worked fervidly not only to have a Trump Tower built in Moscow but also reportedly angled for Trump to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign.

Trump has at least $315 million in debt, according to the report. Revenue at Trump's Palm Beach resort, Mar-a-Lago, fell to $25 million from $37 million in the previous 16 months, as almost two dozen charities canceled fundraising events at the club in the wake of Trump's controversial remarks about a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August.

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Scaramucci, who famously lasted just 11 days as President Donald Trump's communications director after an X-rated interview with a New Yorker writer, remains a loyalist to the president in frequent cable news appearances.

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