President Donald Trump

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Trump Financial Disclosure Form Includes Payment To Michael Cohen

May 16, 2018 - 5:11 pm
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WASHINGTON (WCBS 880/CBS News) -- A financial disclosure from President Donald Trump released Wednesday indicates that the president reimbursed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, after Cohen had paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money.

The disclosure was made as a footnote in a section on Trump's liabilities. The head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) flagged that discrepancy to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in case it is "relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing."

"In the interest of transparency, while not required to be disclosed as 'reportable liabilities' on Part 8, in 2016 expenses were incurred by one of Donald J. Trump's attorneys, Michael Cohen. Mr. Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Mr. Cohen in 2017. The category of the value would be $100,001 - $250,000 and the interest rate would be zero," a footnote in the president's financial disclosure form reads.

A note in the document says "OGE has concluded that the information related to the payment made by Mr. Cohen is required to be reported and that the information provided meets the disclosure requirement for a reportable liability." This means that the ethics office deemed that the payment to Cohen, made in 2016, should have been reported last year, CBS News reported.

Speaking to WCBS 880’s Steve Scott and Michael Wallace Wednesday, Justin Sink of Bloomberg said this was the first time Trump had formally acknowledged the payment.

“The president had initially denied, and Michael Cohen, his lawyer, had initially denied that he had anything to do with this payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Now that he’s sort of had to legally disclose it, we see kind of in black and white for the first time that he is accepting responsibility and that this was intended as a direct payment,” Sink said.

The disclosure does not specifically say the reimbursement was for the payment to Daniels – only referring to expenses for Cohen.

But former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump's newest personal attorney, revealed the reimbursement in a shock interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity earlier this month. Trump seemed to confirm the claim on Twitter the following morning. But then Trump said Giuliani was new to the team and would "get his facts straight."

The latest disclosure form details Trump's financial interests and is 92 pages long, due to Trump's vast business empire. The president submitted his form to OGE for review Tuesday, according to the White House.

Sink said the form is less specific than a tax return, and rather gives a broad sweep of Trump’s finances. Sink said there was no indication of anything potentially illegal in the document – though as to the Daniels payment, “legal experts really differ on whether or not that was within campaign finance rules.”

Trump's golf clubs also had substantial revenue: his golf club in Jupiter, Florida made $14 million, while Bedminster brought in $15 million. The president's Florida club, Mar-a-Lago, also took in $25 million (down from $37 million the prior year), while his Turnberry club in Scotland grossed $20 million. His Doral club, as was the case last year, dwarfed the rest of his golf properties, with revenues of almost $75 million.

The Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., which opened during his presidential campaign in 2016, saw $40 million in revenues. Trump is also still picking up a Screen Actors Guild pension of nearly $65,000 from his years as a reality TV host and sometime bit player in movies.

First Lady Melania Trump made money, too — a former model, she earned royalties from Getty Images between $100,000 and $1 million for its use of photos of her. She received no such royalties last year, according to Trump's financial disclosure then.

President Trump listed liabilities of at least $250 million, with Deutsche Bank as his biggest creditor. Trump also owes Ladder Capital at least $110 million.

Details of Trump's disclosure report from last year can be found here.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. CBS News contributed to this report.)