Canada Markets closed

Trump disclosure of Cohen payment raises new legal questions

BERNARD CONDON and TAMI ABDOLLAH

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump revealed in his financial disclosure Wednesday that he reimbursed personal attorney Michael Cohen as much as $250,000 for unspecified "expenses," with no mention of a $130,000 payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about a sexual tryst she said they had.

The head of the nation's ethics office questioned why Trump didn't include this in his previous year's sworn disclosure and passed along his concerns to federal prosecutors.

"I am providing both reports to you because you may find the disclosure relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing," David Apol, acting director of the Office of Government Ethics, wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Apol wrote that he considers Trump's payment to Cohen to be a repayment on a loan and that it was required to be included in Trump's June 2017 disclosure.

But Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham that he didn't think the repayment "had to be disclosed at all because I think it was an expenditure that he reimbursed."

He also the president was "fully aware" of his decision to reveal the fact that Trump had reimbursed Cohen in a previous Fox News appearance and "endorsed the strategy."

"We wouldn't do it without him," Giuliani said on "The Ingraham Angle." ''He's the client, after all, and has tremendous judgment about things like this. And I think it — that the OGE, the Office of Government Ethics, basically agreed with us that it had been fully disclosed."

"The fact is that the president disclosed everything that he could disclose. He can't disclose more than he knows. And we're very comfortable with it," he added.

But ethics experts say that if that payment was knowingly and willfully left out, Trump could be in violation of federal ethics laws.

"This is a big deal and unprecedented. No president has been previously subject to any referral by (Office of Government Ethics) to DOJ as a result of having failed to report an item on their public financial disclosure report," said Virginia Canter, a former ethics official in the Clinton and Obama White Houses who is now with the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

How Trump dealt with the Daniels hush money in his disclosure has been closely watched, particularly after Giuliani gave interviews earlier this month saying the president had reimbursed Cohen in a series of payments after the campaign was over. Trump and Giuliani have clashed over what the president knew and when he knew it.

In a footnote in tiny type on Page 45 of his 92-page disclosure, Trump said he reimbursed Cohen for "expenses" ranging from $100,001 to $250,000. The report said the president did not have to disclose the payment but was doing so "in the interest of transparency."

While the disclosure didn't specify the purpose of the payment, Cohen has said he paid $130,000 to Daniels in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election to keep her from going public about her allegations that she had sex with the married Trump in 2006.

Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, tweeted, "Mr. Trump's disclosure today conclusively proves that the American people were deceived."

The tweet continued: "This was NOT an accident and it was not isolated. Cover-ups should always matter."

The Trump Organization referred questions about the disclosure report to the president's lawyer Sheri Dillon of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Dillon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Cohen footnote appears in a report giving the first extended look at Trump's revenue from his properties since he became president. In all, Trump's vast array of assets — hotels, resorts, books, licensing deals and other business ventures — generated revenue last year of at least $453 million. The report estimated the holdings are worth at least $1.4 billion.

His Washington, D.C., hotel near the Oval Office, a magnet for diplomats and lobbyists, took in $40 million. 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.

Some of the 12-month figures for his properties are down from his previous report, but that earlier report covered about 16 months and so it is not directly comparable.

The figures are before expenses and so give no indication of how much profit the president made off the properties.

Trump has at least $315 million in debt, about the same as he reported a year ago. One of his biggest lenders is Ladder Capital, which has lent more than $100 million. Trump owes Deutsch Bank as much as $175 million.

The debt figures are given in broad ranges in the report and capped at $50 million, so it's unclear just how much Trump actually owes. The president's tax returns would give a clear picture, but Trump has broken with tradition by refusing to make them public.

When Trump took office, he refused to fully divest from his global business, another break with presidential tradition. Instead, he put his assets in a trust controlled by his two adult sons and a senior executive. Trump can take back control of the trust at any time, and he's allowed to withdraw cash from it as he pleases.

His report shows that Trump received $64,840 from the Screen Actors Guild pension fund. Trump has appeared in several movies, including "Home Alone 2" and "Zoolander."

For operating New York's Wollman Rink in Central Park, the president took in $9.3 million.

Though it was published three decades ago, Trump's "The Art of The Deal" last year generated as much as $1 million.

___

Abdollah and Associated Press writer Richard Lardner contributed from Washington.

  • Senators urge Trudeau government to overhaul tax system, cut corporate taxes
    Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Senators urge Trudeau government to overhaul tax system, cut corporate taxes

    The Senate's banking committee is urging the Trudeau government to take big steps on taxation that include introducing immediate corporate tax cuts to ease competitiveness concerns and revamping the whole tax system. In a report Tuesday, senators called on the federal Liberals to launch a royal

  • Finance
    Reuters

    Second activist targets Canadian miner Detour, seeks board changes

    Livermore sent a letter dated Oct. 16 to Detour in which Livermore Managing Director David Neuhauser said the board had failed its shareholders on "numerous governance and operational matters." The letter was seen by Reuters. Livermore has engaged in other activist campaigns including at Canadian

  • IBM revenue misses as server, software sales slow
    Finance
    Reuters

    IBM revenue misses as server, software sales slow

    Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty has been refocusing International Business Machines Corp toward faster-growing cloud and analytics services to lower dependence on its traditional hardware products and reverse years of revenue declines. The Armonk, New York-based company's overall revenue slipped

  • 'Regional protectionism' in new U.S. trade deal favors Mexico: negotiator
    Finance
    Reuters

    'Regional protectionism' in new U.S. trade deal favors Mexico: negotiator

    Jesus Seade, who led the negotiations for Mexico's incoming leftist government, told Reuters in an interview on Monday he believed the agreement, clinched at the last minute on Sept. 30 would create more U.S. jobs but that Mexico would do even better "if it plays its cards right," because

  • Netflix eases Wall Street worries with record quarter
    Finance
    Reuters

    Netflix eases Wall Street worries with record quarter

    The record number of additions for the period brought Netflix's customer base to 137 million worldwide, making it by far the world's biggest online subscription video service. The leap in subscribers - and the company's shares - marks a sharp turnaround from three months ago, when investors

  • Postal union issues strike notices, could start rotating job action Monday
    Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Postal union issues strike notices, could start rotating job action Monday

    The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said Tuesday it has given strike notice to Canada Post that workers could walk off the job as early as next week. The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees said rotating strikes will begin Monday if agreements aren't reached with the Urban Postal Operations

  • B.C. finance minister says speculation tax brings balance to housing crisis
    Finance
    The Canadian Press

    B.C. finance minister says speculation tax brings balance to housing crisis

    British Columbia's proposed speculation and vacancy tax is aimed at cooling an overheated real estate market and convincing owners of vacant homes in some urban areas to either sell or rent their properties, says Finance Minister Carole James. The legislation introduced Tuesday would impose a tax

  • Target adds new space, more toys for holiday season
    Finance
    Reuters

    Target adds new space, more toys for holiday season

    Target Corp will dedicate nearly a quarter of a million square feet of new space to its toy business across 500 of its stores, the retailer said on Tuesday, part of an effort to win more holiday sales. The discount chain's customers will also be able to shop more than 2,500 new and exclusive toys

  • Trump Says It ‘Would Be Bad’ If Saudi Prince Knew of Khashoggi’s Fate
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Trump Says It ‘Would Be Bad’ If Saudi Prince Knew of Khashoggi’s Fate

    “It depends whether or not the king or the crown prince knew about it in my opinion,” Trump said, according to excerpts of an interview with Fox Business Network’s “Trish Regan Primetime,” scheduled to air Tuesday evening. "I think we have to find out what happened first," the president told

  • How Cadre Plans to Disrupt Commercial Real Estate
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    How Cadre Plans to Disrupt Commercial Real Estate

    Oct.16 -- Ryan Williams, Cadre chief executive officer and co-founder, discusses the future of real estate with Bloomberg's Caroline Hyde and Scarlet Fu from the Sooner Than You Think Conference on "Bloomberg Markets: The Close."

  • Finance
    The Canadian Press

    US tops revised competiveness ranking for 1st time since '08

    Organizers of the annual Davos conference ranked the United States first in their ranking of the world's most competitive economies for the first time in a decade Wednesday, saying the No. 1 spot reflects a new methodology and long-term factors more than recent policies of the Trump administration

  • Netflix's 3Q subscriber growth gets rave reviews on Wall St.
    Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Netflix's 3Q subscriber growth gets rave reviews on Wall St.

    Netflix regained its stride with surprisingly strong subscriber growth in the third quarter, after an unexpected springtime stumble triggered fears that it was losing its allure. The video-streaming service added 7 million subscribers worldwide from July through September, far above the company'

  • Trump escalates his attacks on Fed: 'My biggest threat'
    Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Trump escalates his attacks on Fed: 'My biggest threat'

    Stepping up his attacks on the Federal Reserve, President Donald Trump declared Tuesday that the Fed is "my biggest threat" because he thinks it's raising interest rates too quickly. Trump said he doesn't speak with Chairman Jerome Powell because of the Fed's political independence

  • Finance
    Bloomberg

    San Francisco Fed's Daly Favors Gradual Hikes in First Speech

    Daly said Tuesday the way she’s approaching policy is “very consistent with the way the FOMC has been approaching it” and favors “a gradual pace of normalization.” She will vote on interest rates at the Federal Open Market Committee’s Nov. 7-8 meeting. Daly, who spoke at Wellesley College in Massachusetts

  • United Air Boosts Profit View Again as Travel Demand Sizzles
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    United Air Boosts Profit View Again as Travel Demand Sizzles

    Earnings will climb to at least $8 a share this year, United said in a statement Tuesday, having previously predicted as little as $7.25. United is also enhancing premium offerings and wooing budget travelers with “basic economy” fares that offer cheaper prices with fewer frills. United gained 24 percent

  • Netflix pops, Fed minutes on deck — What you need to know in markets on Wednesday
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Netflix pops, Fed minutes on deck — What you need to know in markets on Wednesday

    Investors will be looking at another busy day for earnings and economic data on Wednesday while a rally in Netflix shares after the market close on Tuesday could give markets a pop.

  • Asia Stocks to Follow U.S. Rally, Bonds Steady: Markets Wrap
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Asia Stocks to Follow U.S. Rally, Bonds Steady: Markets Wrap

    Nasdaq futures climbed after profit at Netflix Inc. trounced estimates, building on a hearty Tuesday for U.S. equities that was led by technology shares. The dollar held near a two-week low and the 10-year Treasury yield traded around 3.16 percent as data showed U.S. factory production expanded in September

  • RBA Signals Unemployment May Have to Fall Below 5% to Spur Wages
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    RBA Signals Unemployment May Have to Fall Below 5% to Spur Wages

    The deputy governor said that the Reserve Bank believes the unemployment rate is still the best measure of labor market health, in a speech delivered in Sydney Wednesday. Debelle said the bank’s current assessment is that employment is likely to grow “a bit above” its long-term average in the next six

  • Chinese Yuan's Narrow Range Helps Keep Riskier Markets Buoyant
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Chinese Yuan's Narrow Range Helps Keep Riskier Markets Buoyant

    The yuan-dollar rate has fluctuated by less than a percentage point as traders await the expected release this week of the U.S. Treasury’s currency manipulation report, which may call out the Asian nation. For Kit Juckes at Societe Generale SA, the dimmed swings in the exchange rate of the world’s two

  • Finance
    The Canadian Press

    United 3Q profit up 30 per cent as it recoups fuel costs

    United Airlines says it is now passing the full impact of higher fuel prices to its customers, helping the nation's third-biggest carrier boost third-quarter profit by 30 per cent . Parent company United Continental Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it earned $836 million, as rising revenue more than

  • Cornered at Home, May Heads Into EU Summit Battle Over Brexit
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Cornered at Home, May Heads Into EU Summit Battle Over Brexit

    According to three people familiar with the matter, government Chief Whip Julian Smith told her top ministers on Tuesday that the current guarantee to avoid a policed border with Ireland doesn’t have enough votes to pass. May got the briefing from the man in charge of ensuring she has the backing in

  • Uber Boosts Bond Sale to $2 Billion With Orders Swelling
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Uber Boosts Bond Sale to $2 Billion With Orders Swelling

    Uber is wrapping up the deal after Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. told the firm it could be valued at about $120 billion in an initial public offering next year, people with knowledge of those discussions told Bloomberg News earlier today. While Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi

  • Earth samples show dust from B.C. pipeline blast not a health threat: Enbridge
    Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Earth samples show dust from B.C. pipeline blast not a health threat: Enbridge

    The company that owns a natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned in central British Columbia a week ago says the dust that settled on homes near the blast site does not pose a health risk. The latest post on the Enbridge website says earth sampling near Prince George shows mineral and metal composition

  • Netflix Crushes Estimates, Renewing Faith After July Letdown
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Netflix Crushes Estimates, Renewing Faith After July Letdown

    Netflix signed up 6.96 million customers in the quarter, according to a statement Tuesday, boosting its global total to 137.1 million. The results should extend Netflix’s reign as one of the best-performing stocks on Wall Street, giving the company leeway to spend billions of dollars more on original

  • China Cuts U.S. Treasury Holdings for Third Straight Month
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    China Cuts U.S. Treasury Holdings for Third Straight Month

    China’s ownership of U.S. bonds, bills and notes was $1.165 trillion, down from $1.171 trillion in July, according to data released by the Treasury Department on Tuesday. Japan, which is the largest foreign owner of Treasuries after China, decreased its holdings to $1.03 trillion from $1.036 trillion