Stormy Daniels' lawyer: WH suggestion Trump knew nothing of settlement 'absurd'

Michael Avenatti contradicts WH press secretary

Porn star sues Trump over affair

(CNN) - The attorney representing the porn star who is suing President Donald Trump says the White House's suggestion that the President knew nothing about a payment made to keep her quiet is "patently absurd."

"The idea that somehow President Trump didn't know anything about this and that Attorney Cohen was just running off and doing what he thought was best without any consultation with President Trump, it is patently absurd," Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stephanie Clifford, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night.

Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, has filed a lawsuit against Trump in which she cites multiple instances of his legal counsel, Michael Cohen, working to keep her from speaking out about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter.

Avenatti said a private mediator issued a temporary restraining order against Clifford on behalf of Cohen on February 27, and has cautioned Clifford to keep quiet as recently as Wednesday.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders fielded questions about Cohen making a $130,000 payment to Daniels in October 2016, and she said Trump didn't know about it -- as far as she knew.

"Not that I'm aware of," Sanders responded when pressed on whether Trump had known about the payment. "Anything beyond what I've already given you, I would refer you to the President's outside counsel."

Sanders also said that "the arbitration was won in the President's favor," admitting for the first time that a non-disclosure agreement did exist, and that the President is involved.

But Avenatti disputed the claim that Clifford had lost the arbitration, calling it "null and void," but adding that his client wanted clarification from the courts before telling her story.

"In light of the constant threats, my client is concerned and wants a court of law to adjudicate that she is in fact free from the agreement," he said, speaking on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

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