Of course Trump knew what the 35,000 checks were for

Of course Trump knew what the 35,000 checks were for

by digby

Gary Legum caught this interesting exchange on CNN this morning:

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.

Camerota is right.

Here's Trump in a New York Times interview in 2016:

TRUMP: Now, according to the law, see I figured there’s something where you put something in this massive trust and there’s also — nothing is written. In other words, in theory, I can be president of the United States and run my business 100 percent, sign checks on my business, which I am phasing out of very rapidly, you know, I sign checks, I’m the old-fashioned type. I like to sign checks so I know what is going on as opposed to pressing a computer button, boom, and thousands of checks are automatically sent. It keeps, it tells me what’s going on a little bit and it tells contractors that I’m watching.

But he's just blindly signing checks in the oval office from his personal account without knowing what they are?