One America News Network retracts article about Michael Cohen — DGU

Aniket
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One America News Network retracted an article Monday that said former President Donald Trump’s onetime attorney Michael Cohen had an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels.

The March 27 article from the conservative news outlet quoted a post on X from a user who falsely claimed to have obtained information in 2018 from Daniels’ then-attorney, Michael Avenatti. Citing Avenatti, the post claimed that Cohen and Daniels had been having an affair since 2006 and that Cohen “cooked up” the hush money scheme to extort the Trump Organization ahead of the 2016 election.

“To be clear, no evidence suggests that Mr. Cohen and Ms. Daniels were having an affair and no evidence suggests that Mr. Cohen ‘cooked up’ the scheme to extort the Trump Organization before the 2016 election,” OAN said in a statement Monday.

The network said it was taking the story down “from all sites,” as well as “all social media.”

“This retraction is part of a settlement reached with Michael Cohen. Mr. Avenatti has denied making the allegations,” the statement said. “OAN apologizes to Mr. Cohen for any harm the publication may have caused him.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts tied to allegations that he falsified business records related to hush money paid to Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. He has denied a relationship with Daniels. The trial began this month; both Cohen and Daniels are expected to testify.

In a statement Monday, Cohen blasted the retracted story’s allegations.

“The notion that right before the election I would extort the man I fervently supported and believed was about to become president, all to make $130,000 that I did not even keep for myself, is beyond absurd. It’s just plain stupid,” Cohen said.

An attorney for Cohen said the retraction was “vindication for Michael Cohen.”

“He has faced severe consequences for telling the truth. With this action he has made clear that those who slander him will face their own consequences,” the attorney, Danya Perry, said in a statement.

Daniels also denied the allegations, OAN said in its statement Monday. An attorney for Daniels did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Avenatti, who is serving an unrelated prison sentence related to a fraud scheme, denied making the claims, which he called “completely fabricated, untrue and bogus” in a statement through a paralegal, which OAN included in an update to its story on April 4.

Tony Seruga, the author of the post that formed the basis of the article, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday evening.

OAN settled a defamation lawsuit out of court with the voting machine company Smartmatic, according to a filing this month. Two years ago, the network settled a defamation lawsuit with a pair of Georgia election workers who had accused it of falsely claiming they committed ballot fraud during the 2020 presidential election.

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