President Trump admits he repaid attorney Michael Cohen in financial form

President Trump admits he repaid attorney Michael Cohen in financial form

Kerry Wise
May 17, 2018

Novartis' top lawyer, Felix Ehrat, will retire at the beginning of next month, stepping down from his post on the pharma's executive committee over the controversial payment by Novartis of $1.2 million to a company controlled by President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had a tryst with Trump in 2006 while he was married. It said it believed that Cohen could advise the company on the Trump administration's approach to healthcare policies, including the Affordable Care Act.

Trump's claim began to unravel early this month, however, after Rudy Giuliani, a new member of the president's legal team, said Trump the president in fact reimbursed Cohen for the payments to Daniels.

The disclosure did not specify what the reimbursement was for, and gave just a range: $101,000-$250,000.

Novartis said in a statement at the time that the company concluded after a meeting with Cohen that he was "unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to U.S. healthcare policy matters and the decision was taken not to engage further".

"I am providing both reports to you because you may find the disclosure relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing regarding the President's prior report that was signed on June 14, 2017", ethics office acting director David Apol wrote.

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That statement was couched in a footnote on the 45th page of a 92-page disclosure.

Also note disagreeing views on disclosing Cohen reimbursement: OGE says it was required to be reported; Trump says they disagree but doing so anyway "in the interest of transparency".

The Office of Government Ethics released Trump's disclosure form on Wednesday. The president submitted his form to OGE for review Tuesday, according to the White House.

His Doral golf course and resort in Miami took in $75 million, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, received $25 million and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, generated $15 million. It indicates that his Washington hotel, a popular spot for lobbyists and Republican aides and among one of his most successful properties, had revenues of over $40 million in 2017.

The $100,000 was paid out in 2016 but was not reported in the president's disclosure past year.

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