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Trump says hush money ‘not a campaign violation’

President Donald Trump is defending the hush money payments made by his former attorney Michael Cohen to a pair of women, insisting, contrary to Cohen's guilty plea, that the effort wasn't "even a campaign violation." | AP Photo/Alex Brandon

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is defending the hush money payments made by his former attorney Michael Cohen to a pair of women, insisting, contrary to Cohen’s guilty plea, that the effort wasn’t “even a campaign violation.”

Trump is telling “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt in an interview set to air Thursday that the payments “didn’t come out of the campaign, and that’s big.”

He says wrongly that if the money had come from the campaign, “that could be a little dicey,” but since it “came from me” it’s “not even a campaign violation.”

Cohen on Tuesday pleaded guilty to a series of charges and said Trump had directed him to arrange the payments to influence the election.

Corporations are not permitted to contribute to campaigns and money intended to influence an election must be reported.