On the other hand, Ryan added: If Trump didn't know about the payment - which the president claimed in April in a brief conversation with reporters aboard Air Force One - he would not have committed a violation.
But the surprise revelation of the president's payment clashed with his past statements, created new legal headaches and stunned many in the West Wing.
Rudy Giuliani, the former NY mayor who is serving on Trump's legal team, was angry at the revelation, according to The Washington Post's Bob Costa, who said he spoke to the lawyer.
Giuliani's remarks - that Trump knew about the payment and had repaid Cohen for it - seemed to contradict Trump's past statements.
In the Hannity interview, Giuliani said of the $130,000 payment that Trump "didn't know about the specifics of it, as far as I know".
"This was information that the president didn't know at the time but eventually learned", she said at the daily briefing. Mr Trump had previously denied knowing anything about the payment.
Giuliani said he was "not clear" whether Trump was aware of the payment to Daniels at the time it was made, according to The Times.
"Not a wiretap where investigators can actually listen to calls", you say? "That's what served as the predicate or the basis for them to be able to go in and get the warrant to search the home, the office and the hotel room of Michael Cohen". "He did his job".More news: 'American Gods' Season 2 Set Video Reveals Release Window
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Rudy Giuliani with Donald Trump after the election in 2016.
"Reimbursement equals knowledge, in my opinion, legally", Paul Ryan, the vice president of policy and litigation at watchdog group Common Cause, told NBC News.
"You know, there's an old saying in the law: 'Hang a lantern on your problems.' So he comes in, he knows that there's been different stories being told about this payment and how it was made", Christie, a friend of Trump's, told ABC News. There may be bank fraud.
But several experts pointed out an undisclosed campaign loan is also a violation of federal election law.
The correction is just the latest storm for a network reeling from them.
As Rudolph Giuliani, the President's new lawyer, acknowledged Wednesday on Fox News, Daniels was paid because disclosure of her story on the eve of the election would have hurt Trump's chances.
Trump wrote in a tweet on Thursday that Cohen was not paid using campaign funds.
Trump says on Twitter Thursday that his personal attorney Michael Cohen received a monthly retainer "from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA". The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair, despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair. Knowing she would be asked about the hush money, Sanders asked Trump.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing Trump and his attorney, Michael Cohen, in federal court in Los Angeles seeking to invalidate a non-disclosure agreement she signed before the 2016 presidential election over her claim she had an affair with the married Trump a decade ago. "[It was] funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it".