President Donald Trump broke his silence on his alleged affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels while boarding Air Force One on Thursday, telling a reporter that didn’t previously know about his lawyer Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — that would keep her silent.

Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told MSNBC’s Ari Melber, that he was “ecstatic” about this statement and jokingly wished Melber a Merry Christmas.

“First of all Ari, let me say Merry Christmas to you,” Avenatti said. “Because it is a very, very Merry Christmas this evening here over in our camp. You know, this is what happens when you have an undisciplined client, as you know from experience. We waited patiently, and lo and behold Christmas has arrived.”



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Avenatti also said that Trump’s comments were serious for both him and Cohen, because if Trump didn’t know about the payment, then he didn’t know about the agreement — in which case, there would be no agreement between Daniels and him.

“How can you have an agreement when one party claims that they don’t know anything about the agreement? I mean these guys are making it up as they go along,” Avenatti said. “They don’t know what to say from day in and day out, and our case just got a whole lot better.”

Last night, Avenatti excitedly tweeted about Trump’s claims twice.

“We very much look forward to testing the truthfulness of Mr. Trump’s feigned lack of knowledge concerning the $130k payment as stated on Air Force One,” Avenatti wrote. “As history teaches us, it is one thing to deceive the press and quite another to do so under oath.”

“Good (actually GREAT) things come to those who wait!!!” he wrote an hour later. “The strength of our case just went up exponentially. You can’t have an agreement when one party claims to know nothing about it.”

During another segment of MSNBC, Avenatti said Trump’s side would likely try to throw Cohen under the bus and only pin him down for any wrongdoing in order to protect the President. He also said that Trump’s Air Force One claim was seen as “game over” from Daniels’ side’s point of view.

“You know, Michael Cohen, today was not a stellar day for him by any stretch of the imagination,” Avenatti said. “First, the President threw him under the bus on Air Force One by claiming that Michael Cohen just did this all on his own relating to Stormy Daniels — which, by the way, I don’t believe for one minute that that’s accurate. But even taking the President at face value, that’s the first thing. And then we have this special prosecutor report relating to them starting to knock on doors of associates and asking questions about Michael Cohen. [There’s] no question Michael Cohen’s in the crosshairs.”

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