Who among us does not notice all the $35,000 checks we are signing? During an interview on CNN’s New Day on Wednesday morning, Alisyn Camerota was gobsmacked by the idea that Donald Trump wouldn’t.
“That is absurd!” Camerota gasped to Maggie Haberman of The New York Times.
Camerota and co-host John Berman were interviewing Haberman about her latest story for the Times, documenting when the president signed a series of such checks to reimburse his personal fixer, Michael Cohen, for paying off Stormy Daniels.
Haberman and co-writer Peter Baker got hold of copies of six of the checks signed by the president, along with one signed by his son, Donald Trump Jr., and another signed by Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization. Cohen has alleged that all the checks were reimbursements to him for fronting the money to Daniels to ensure she would stay silent before the 2016 election about an affair she had with Trump.
Haberman stated that her sources contend Trump may not have known exactly what he was paying Cohen for, and may have thought the checks were for general legal services. This led to Camerota’s outburst.
“That Donald Trump every month would sign by hand a check for $35,000 and not know. This is a man who didn’t even pay his vendors when they completed work for him. This is somebody who doesn’t part with $35,000,” she said, referencing Trump’s legendary cheapness that led him to stiff contractors, lawyers and others who did work for him during his long business career.
Haberman disagreed, saying that wealthy people like Trump sign large checks all the time for personal expenses. Trump very well may have had Cohen doing enough work for him that he genuinely didn’t know exactly what he was paying for. This comment raised the intriguing question, which the reporters briefly touched on, that Trump might have been reimbursing Cohen for other payoffs or activities that he did not want revealed to the public.
Whether the public will care about the president casually signing multiple checks, each one for more than many people make in a year, to a man who paid off his mistresses for him, or if they will accept it as an inevitable part of the life of a billionaire, as Haberman seems to, remains to be fully seen.
Watch the clip up top, via CNN.