Transcript for Trump: Stormy Daniels payments 'simple private transaction'
night, the president searching for a new chief of staff after his top pick turned down the job. It comes amid the latest filings involving the president's long-time fixer and personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Tonight, how close are prosecutors to the president himself, and the president, who once said on air force one, saying he didn't know about the payments Cohen made, what he's now saying. ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl tonight. Reporter: With multiple investigations heating up, president trump today claimed he's been fully exonerated, tweeting, "Democrats can't find a smoking gun." He misspelled smoking, and despite his confidence, the president is facing mounting legal threats. Federal prosecutors now say trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign when he facilitated payments to stormy Daniels and Karen mcguy dal. And said he acted in coordination with and at the direction of individual one, aka, then-candidate Donald Trump. The president's story on this has changed over time. First, he claimed to know nothing about the payments. Did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy Daniels? No, no. Reporter: Then, he said he only knew about them after the fact. Did you know about the payments? Ah, later on, I knew. Later on. Reporter: Now, he calls it a "Simple private transaction." All this has Democrats preparing to take over the house, openly talking about the possibility of impeachment. Well, they would be impeachable offenses, whether they are important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question. Reporter: Others are raising the possibility that the president could be indicted after he leaves office. He may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time. Reporter: All this is playing out as the president is searching for a new chief of staff, after ousting John Kelly. John Kelly will be leaving, I don't know if I can say retiring, but he's a great guy. Reporter: Mike pence's chief of staff, Nick ayers, was offered the job, but over the weekend, he announced he would be instead moving his family back to Georgia. All right, Jon Karl live from the white house tonight. And Jon, you've covered more than one administration, this would seem to be a particularly challenging time for the president to be searching for a chief of staff. Reporter: Not only is the president dealing with these investigations, he is about to face an entirely new political reality on capitol hill with Democrats taking over the house in January. The bottom line, this is a bad time to have uncertainty about who is going to be your chief of staff. All right, Jon Karl starting another week for us at the white house. Jon, thank you.
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