OAN Retracts False Story About Donald Trump’s Former Lawyer Michael Cohen

One America News Network has retracted a story that claimed Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen had an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.

Cohen, who is expected to be a key witness at Trump’s hush money trial, had hired Justin Nelson of Susman Godfrey LLP, the lead attorney in Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit and $787.5 million settlement with Fox News.

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On its website, OAN said that “today has retracted its March 27 article entitled ‘Whistleblower: Avenatti Alleged Cohen­ Daniels Affair Since 2006, Pre-2016 Trump Extortion Plan,’ and is taking it down from all sites and removing it from all social media. This retraction is part of a settlement reached with Michael Cohen. Mr. Avenatti has denied making the allegations. OAN apologizes to Mr. Cohen for any harm the publication may have caused him.”

Nelson worked with Cohen’s lawyer Danya Perry in seeking the OAN retraction and settlement.

“Today’s retraction by OAN represents a victory for accountability. This retraction is not about money. It is about protecting the truth,” Nelson said in a statement.

In its retraction, OAN said, “The article, quoting a source, falsely claimed that Mr. Cohen and Ms. Daniels ‘were having an affair since 2006’ and that, according to a source, ‘the whole hush money scheme was cooked up by [Mr. Cohen] to extort the Trump Organization before the 2016 election.’ These statements were false. OAN regrets their publication.” The OAN retraction also includes denials from Avenatti and Daniels.

The retraction also includes a quote from Cohen. “I did not have an affair with Stormy Daniels and furthermore I did not ‘cook up’ the allegations to extort the Trump Organization before the 2016 election. The notion that right before the election I would extort the man I fervently supported and believed was about to become president, all to make $130,000 that I did not even keep for myself, is beyond absurd. It’s just plain stupid.”

In October 2016, Cohen, then representing Trump as his lawyer and so-called “fixer,” paid Daniels $130,000 in an effort to silence her claim that she had an affair with The Apprentice host. Trump has denied that allegation.

The hush money trial, which is dark today, centers on payments that Trump and his company subsequently made to Cohen, well exceeding the $130,000. Prosecutors allege that the payments were falsely listed for legal services, when they were in fact reimbursements for the hush money. Those in turn amounted to illegal campaign contributions, coming just weeks before the election, prosecutors claim. Trump also has denied those allegations.

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