Video: Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Says Donald Trump Was Extorted Into Making Payments to Adult Stars—'False Outrage'

Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed the two women who accused President Donald Trump of extramarital affairs and who were secretly paid to keep quiet by his fixer Michael Cohen had extorted the real estate mogul.

The two women are Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model. Both say they had sex with Trump while he was married to his current wife, Melania Trump.

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Cohen has admitted arranging for Daniels to be paid $130,000 and McDougal to be paid $150,000 to buy the rights to each of their stories ahead of the 2016 presidential election for the benefit of Trump's campaign.

But the spending was not declared, breaching campaign finance laws. Trump denies the affairs or any knowledge at the time of the payments being made. Reports of the hush deals' existence first emerged in the media in early 2018.

However, in his plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, Cohen states that he was directed to make those payments by Trump, contradicting the president and implicating him in the campaign finance violations. Cohen is facing jail time.

"Two women approached Donald Trump and threatened to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn't give them money," Carlson said during his show Monday night, which called criticism of the president over the issue "false outrage."

"Now that sounds like a classic case of extortion. Yet for whatever reason, Trump caves to it, and he directs Michael Cohen to pay the ransom. Now, more than two years later, Trump is a felon for doing this. It doesn't seem to make any sense.

"Oh, but you're not a federal prosecutor on a political mission. If you were a federal prosecutor on a political mission, you would construe those extortion payments as campaign contributions. You'd do this even though the money in question did not come from or go to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

"Then you'd claim that Trump and Michael Cohen violated campaign finance law because they didn't publicly disclose those payments despite the fact that disclosing them would nullify the reason for making them in the first place, which was to keep the whole thing secret.

"That is the argument you would make both in federal court and through your proxies on cable television. It is insultingly stupid. But because everyone in power hates the target of your investigation, nobody would question you. And that's what's happening right now."

Carlson said back in September during an interview on his show with Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Daniels, that he believes the affair took place.

In a statement to Newsweek, Avenatti said: "Tucker Carlson is an embarrassment to real journalists everywhere. He is a partisan hack that makes no attempt at getting the facts right. And he is too frightened to have me on his show to educate him. The only extortion that occurred in 2016 was Trump extorting votes from hard working people by lying to them."

McDougal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.